Monday, March 9, 2015

Farm Bill Decisions: Are You Sure That’s the Right Program for Your Farm?

Farm Bill Decisions: Are You Sure That's the Right Program for Your Farm?

ARC or PLC? That’s the million dollar question. How can you be sure?

Farmers across the country are biting their nails, flipping a quarter and praying they pick the farm bill program that is best suited to their farm. It’s no wonder, too. This is the most complicated farm bill our country has ever had, and you’re stuck with your choice for five long years.
So, which is it going to be—for the next five years—Agriculture Risk Protection (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC)?
Don’t panic just yet. You have until March 31 to update your yields, reallocate base acres and make your final decision.

Here’s what you need to know:

As deadlines near, decide if you prefer payments today or protection tomorrow. Katie Humphreys, Farm Journal managing editor, outlines the seven steps to making a decision.
Paul Neiffer’s blog, The Farm CPA, is a wealth of information on ARC, PLC, payment estimates, yield estimates and more. A quick scroll will uncover information that might help you make your decision.

Landowners and Farmland Renters

Land owners and farmland renters face their own unique challenges when deciding between the two farm bill programs.
For farmland renters, you might be asking yourself if it’s really worth nagging your landlord to update yields and reallocate base acres. Experts say, yes! Only landowners can complete the paperwork and if they don’t update the numbers, you could be stuck with old yields for years to come, which could lead to financial consequences down the road.
For landowners, it’s important to talk to your renters. Jonathan Coppess, ag law and policy specialist at the University of Illinois, says it’s an easy decision and you could be in and out of the FSA office in as little as 10 minutes. Landowners just need to make two initial decisions:  1) Yields, 2) Base acres.

Decision Made Easy

Is your head spinning yet? After you take a few deep breaths to calm yourself, sign up for a free Farm Bill Decisions Webinar. Upcoming Webinars are scheduled for March 10, March 17 and March 24. Experts will walk you through what you need to know about both programs, give examples to help you understand, offer tips, tricks, tools and more.
Need a bit more help? There’s also the Farm Bill Decisions eBook you can download. Click here for the details.