Editor’s note: Anita Wilson is an agricultural program specialist with the Arkansas FSA. Bobby Coats is a professor with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.
When is the sign-up deadline for the 2014 Farm Bill’s new safety-net programs, known as Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC)?
The final day to update yield history or reallocate base acres is Feb. 27, 2015, and the final day for all of the farms' current producers to choose ARC or PLC coverage is March 31, 2015.
Who makes the decision to update yields and reallocate base? Can yields be updated without reallocating base?
The owner(s) of the farm make(s) the yield update and base reallocation determination. This determination is on a crop-by-crop basis for the farm. The owner(s) may choose to update the yield for one crop on the farm and choose to retain the CC yield for another crop on the farm. Yields may be updated without reallocating base acres. Also, bases may be reallocated without updating yields.
If a landowner does not update a farm’s base acres and yields, what happens?
If the farm chooses not to update yields or reallocate base acres, then the farm will retain the base acres and counter-cyclical yields in effect on Sept. 30, 2013, excluding upland cotton base acres for the 2014 to 2018 ARC/PLC programs. Upland cotton base acres are automatically converted to generic base, which is not part of the base reallocation decision.
What is the time period used to determine a new yield?
The owner will be required to certify a crop yield for each of the years the crop was planted during the yield update base period of 2008-2012.
What is the base reallocation formula?
Base acres are reallocated using the acreage of each covered commodity in proportion to the four-year average of acres that were planted or considered planted (P&CP) to all covered commodity crops, except upland cotton (now generic base), during 2009-2012.
How is the new Price Loss Coverage (PLC) yield calculated?
The crops’ updated yield is a simple average of the crop’s certified yield, excluding the years of zero plantings, times 90 percent. If the certified yield is less than 75 percent of the county average yield or the yield is missing or unavailable, 75 percent of the county average yield will be substituted for that year’s yield.
Can an owner choose to update the Counter Cyclical (CC) yield even though they later elect the ARC program for the farm?
Yes, the CC yield can be updated regardless of the program elected for the farm: PLC, county ARC (ARC-CO) or individual ARC (ARC-IC). Even though the updated yield will only be used for making PLC payments, this is a one-time opportunity for owners of a farm to update the farm’s payment yields. A farm’s payment yields were last updated either in 1985 or in 2002.
What crops may have base acres reallocated and yields updated?
Only covered commodities may have base acres reallocated and yields updated. Covered commodities include wheat, oats, barley, corn, grain sorghum, rice, soybeans, sunflower seed, rapeseed, canola, safflower, flaxseed, mustard seed, crambe, sesame seed, dry peas, lentils, small chickpeas, large chickpeas and peanuts. Upland cotton is no longer a covered commodity.
What happened to my farms upland cotton base acres?
Cotton is no longer considered a covered commodity; cotton base acres will now be called "generic base acres." For ARC/PLC, if "generic base acres" are planted to a covered commodity, they will be treated as that commodity’s base acres.
What are the base update options?
The owner(s) of the farm may either: (1) retain the base acres of covered commodities on the farm as of Sept. 30, 2013, or (2) choose to reallocate bases.
Once I’ve taken action regarding base reallocation and yield updates, can I change my mind?
Any base reallocation and yield updates can be changed through the end of the ARC/PLC time designated to complete.
Must the covered commodity be planted on a farm to receive a PLC payment? How is generic base treated?
Under PLC, the covered commodity doesn’t need to be planted to receive payment. The PLC payment is issued based on 85 percent of the crop’s base acres. To receive PLC payments on generic base acres, a covered commodity must be planted on generic base acres. Attribution of the covered commodity(s) planted on generic base acres depends on the amount and crop planted on those generic base acres.
How is the county average yield determined?
2008-2012 county average yields are based upon NASS data. In the absence of NASS data, RMA or Extension data may also be used.
Does the 2014 farm bill allow separate PLC yields for dryland and irrigated practices on the same farm?
No. Farms will only have one yield. The PLC yield for a crop that is both irrigated and non-irrigated will either be the farm’s current counter-cyclical yield or an updated yield, which is based on the average of the total production on the farm divided by the planted acres of the crop for crop years 2008-2012 on the farm times 90 percent.
Farm Bill Webinars available for viewing
ARC/PLC Overview with Anita Wilson, Arkansas FSA, Agricultural Program Specialist. Webinar Video and Power Point PDF
ARC/PLC Yield Updates with Anita Wilson, Arkansas FSA, Agricultural Program Specialist. Webinar Video and Power Point PDF
ARC/PLC Base Reallocations with Anita Wilson, Arkansas FSA, Agricultural Program Specialist. ARC/PCL Presentation Webinar Video and Power Point PDF
Web-Based Decision Aid with Professor Brad Watkins, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. Farm Bill Decision Aid Webinar Video and Power Point PDF
Price Loss Coverage (PLC) with Anita Wilson, Arkansas FSA, Agricultural Program Specialist. Webinar Video and Power Point PDF
ARC - County Level with Anita Wilson, Arkansas FSA, Agricultural Program Specialist. Webinar Video and Power Point PDF
ARC - Individual Level with Anita Wilson, Arkansas FSA, Agricultural Program Specialist. Webinar Video and Power Point PDF
2014 Farm Bill Decision Aid Training with Professor James Richardson, Agricultural and Food Policy Center (AFPC) - Texas A&M University. Webinar Video and Power Point PDF
The online tools, available at www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc and www.uaex.edu/farmbill, allow producers to explore projections on how ARC or PLC coverage will affect their operation under possible future scenarios.