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.
Tony Franco, chief of Arkansas FSA farm programs, says, “Today (Feb. 27, 2015) is the LAST DAY to update yields and/or reallocate base acres. Take advantage of this opportunity and schedule an appointment with your local FSA office before the close of business today. Otherwise this opportunity to update yields and reallocate base acres is lost.”
Timeline to elect ARC or PLC coverage
• September 29, 2014 until February 27, 2015 – Update yields & Reallocate base acres
• November 17, 2014 until March 31, 2015 – One-time Election of either ARC or PLC for 2014 through 2018 crop years
• Mid-April 2015 through Summer 2015 – Contract enrollment for 2014 & 2015 crop years
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.
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 September 30, 2013, excluding upland cotton base acres for the 2014 - 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?
To update a yield, the owner or owners of the farm must certify as to the updated yield for each crop on the farm. 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 4-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 September 30, 2013, or (2) choose to reallocate bases.
Does the 2014 Farm Bill allow separate PLC yields for dry land 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 208-2012 on the farm times 90 percent.