2014 Farm Bill Resources
By: Kurt Fuchs, Government Affairs Officer
In the seven months since the 2014 Farm Bill was signed into law, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been busy establishing the rules and regulations that provide more detail on how to actually use the various programs established by the bill.
Much of the buzz right now is on Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), two new farm safety net programs that replaced direct payments. Most of our customers with “base acres” (those acres historically designated by the farmer as being covered by previous farm bill programs) have been contacted by Farm Service Agency (FSA) and are now in the process of making adjustments to yield history and/or determining whether to reallocate those base acres. Then, beginning in mid-November and running through March, producers must decide which risk management program (Agricultural Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage) will best suit their operation’s needs.
It is important to note that their enrollment decision will remain in effect through the 2018 crop year, so it could be a stressful process for producers. Because of this, several web-based tools have been developed to aid producers in their decision-making processes. Links to these tools were released early last week and can be found below:
Farm Bill Program Decision Tools:
Texas A&M: https://usda.afpc.tamu.edu/
University of Illinois: http://farmbilltoolbox.farmdoc.illinois.edu/
Additionally, the USDA has also developed a 2014 Farm Bill Fact Sheet that highlights the changes made to FSA farm loan programs.