WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that a one-time extension will be provided to producers for the new safety-net programs established by the 2014 farm bill, known as Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC).
The final day to update yield history or reallocate base acres has been extended one additional month, from Feb. 27, until March 31. The final day for farm owners and producers to choose ARC or PLC coverage also remains March 31.
“This is an important decision for producers, because these programs provide financial protection against unexpected changes in the marketplace,” Vilsack said.
He added that producers are working to make the best decision they can. And, USDA is working to ensure they have the time, information, and opportunity to review their data, and to visit the Farm Service Agency.
If no changes are made to yield history or base acres by March 31, the farm’s current yield and base will be used.
A program choice of ARC or PLC coverage also must be made by March 31, or there will be no 2014 payments for the farm and the farm will default to PLC coverage through the 2018 crop year.
“These are complex decisions, which is why we launched a strong education and outreach campaign back in September,” Vilsack said.
Nationwide, more than 2.9 million educational postcards, in English and Spanish, have been sent to producers, and more than 4,100 training sessions have been conducted on the new safety-net programs.
The online tools, available at www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc, allow producers to explore projections on how ARC or PLC coverage will affect their operation under possible future scenarios.
Covered commodities include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium grain rice (which includes short grain rice), safflower seed, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. Upland cotton is no longer a covered commodity.
To learn more, farmers can contact their local Farm Service Agency county office. To find your local office visit http://offices.usda.gov.