March 15 is the deadline to enroll in the Agriculture Risk Coverage program or the Price Loss Coverage program for 2019.
USDA Farm Service Agency Administrator Richard Fordyce says producers will need to sign up for the 2019 crop year before they can sign up for 2020, “but they can do that in the same visit to the office.”
Fordyce continued, “’19 elections, so what commodity and what program in ’19, will be the same election in ’20. But the big change is that producers will be able to change those elections if the market dictates, or prices dictate, or whatever dictates, moving commodities out of one and putting them into another in ’21, ’22, and ’23. So, you could make three different elections in ’21, ’22, and ‘23.”
With those changes to ARC and PLC in the 2018 farm bill, Fordyce said USDA partnered with Texas A&M University and the University of Illinois to create a decision support tool for producers that can be found at farmers.gov.
“It’s an exercise that farmers can put in their numbers and run those through scenarios in both programs. So, you do corn and soybeans, and run them through both programs and see what it tells the producer today about which one is the best program.”
Even though the deadline isn’t until March, Fordyce encourages producers to come in soon to spread out the workload for FSA office staff.
“If a farmer can come in next week and sign up, make those elections, they can still change those elections as we go forward up until that deadline. Changing the election is a very simple process. The sign-up process is what takes a little bit of time.”
“Making Your Farm Bill Decision in 2020” will also be a topic discussed at Friday’s Top Farmer Conference from Purdue’s Center for Commercial Agriculture. You can still register for the event by visiting purdue.ag/topfarmer20.