Purdue Extension and the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture have partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) of Indiana to host a series of free informational meetings on the 2014 farm bill. The Farm Bill Producer Meetings will be held throughout the state beginning Dec. 8 and continuing into January. To register for the meetings, visit the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture’s website at www.agecon.purdue.edu/commercialag or just type Center for Commercial Ag into your favorite search engine.
Discussion will focus on Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs authorized by the bill. Crop producers must select one of the new programs, which will replace the direct program payments of previous years. There are two plans available through the Agricultural Risk Coverage program, also known as ARC. The ARC-County option estimates individual crop revenue based on countywide projections. Under the ARC-Individual option, farmers receive payments based on their own past revenues on a whole-farm basis.
Under the Price Loss Coverage program, or PLC, payments are made on a crop-by-crop basis if the national price of that commodity falls below the reference price established in the farm bill legislation. Jim Mintert, director of Purdue’s Center for Commercial Agriculture, said the information provided in the workshops is important because crop producers must now choose among coverage options that are much different from prior government programs. “During the workshops farmers, lenders and landowners will learn how the new program works and also have a chance to work through some examples so they will better understand how to make program decisions that are best for their individual circumstances,” he said.
During the meetings experts will also explain the process for base reallocation, updating program yields and program election, said Julia Wickard, state executive director of the Indiana FSA.“Producers must make a one-time decision to retain or reallocate crop bases, to retain or update program payment yields, and they also must decide which type of coverage they want for the 2014 to 2018 crop years,” she said.
Seven meetings have been scheduled across Indiana. Each session will run from 1-4 p.m. and includes discussion about base reallocation and updating program yields for both ARC programs and PLC. There will also be an opportunity for participants to meet with experts from Purdue and the Indiana FSA. Refreshments will be provided.
Dec. 8: Hamilton County Fairgrounds and Exposition Center; 2003 Pleasant St., Noblesville.
Dec. 9: Huntingburg Event Center; 200 E. 14th St., Huntingburg.
Dec. 10: Indiana Grand Racing and Casino Trackside; 4300 N. Michigan Road, Shelbyville.
Jan. 6, 2015: Honeywell Center; 275 W. Market St., Wabash.
Jan. 8, 2015: Knights of Columbus; 624 Delaware Road, Batesville.
Jan. 9, 2015: Beck Agricultural Center; 4540 U.S. 52 W, West Lafayette.
Jan. 15, 2015: Allen County War Memorial Coliseum (Ft. Wayne Farm Show); 4000 Parnell Ave., Fort Wayne.
Prior to the start of each meeting, the Indiana Farm Bureau will sponsor a State Ag Policy Lunch program, beginning at 11:30 a.m. Registration information for the lunch is also available at the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture’s website.
Co-sponsors of the Farm Bill Producer Meetings also include the Indiana Farm Bureau, Indiana Soybean Alliance, Indiana Corn Marketing Council and the Indiana state Department of Agriculture.