Key Base Vs Planted Acreage Issue for Payments Appears Resolved

December 5, 2013 07:48 AM

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Sources signal both ARC and PLC payments may be set on base acres, not planted

NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.

Usually reliable sources signal that a key farm bill conference decision has apparently been made to figure any Ag Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss (Target Price) Coverage (PLC) payments on base acres and not planted acres. This apparent move comes largely due to pressure from national corn, soybean and canola lobby groups who pushed hard for payments be decoupled from actual plantings. 

If base acres are used to factor both ARC and PLC payments, one source said, "Well if this is the final decision, this is what you get when you make a bid deal about potential World Trade Organization (WTO) problems if you go to planted acres. In terms of equity, I guess farm bill conferees decided not to allow planted acres for one farmer safety net choice and not the other, thus they likely went to current base acres for both.

Sources say it is an "open issue" regarding how base acres would be defined.

Another safety-net related issue is the push by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) for a farm-related-based safety net program, something Senate Ag Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) is reportedly pushing hard to include in the final farm bill package. If so, that would be bring on additional costs which some sources say would have to be offset. While some in the Senate reportedly want to reduce the percentage of acres (likely base) that any ARC or PLC payments are made on, sources say there has been no final decision and that House conferees have rejected such the suggestion.

Meanwhile, on another major farm bill issue. contacts say $8 billion cuts in food stamp funding has reportedly been offered by Sen. Stabenow, but contacts wonder if any such funding cut amount coud get enough votes from both Democratic and Republican members in both the House and Senate to approve any final farm bill conference report. "Getting a farm bill conference concluced is just part of the problem," one source said. "Getting the majority of both the House and Senate to vote to approve the conference report is another issue.


NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.



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