Sept. 30 marks a signup deadline for several key farm bill safety net programs, including the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and the Price Loss Coverage (PLC).
The deadline to enroll for the dairy Margin Protection Program for coverage in 2016 has been extended until Nov. 20, 2015.
“The fall harvest is a busy time of the year for agriculture, so this extension will ensure that dairy producers have more time to make their choices,” said Vilsack. “We encourage all operations to examine the protections offered by this program, because despite the very best forecasts, markets can change.”
"These programs provide important risk protection for farm and dairy operations, so it is important not to miss the deadline for enrollment," said U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini. "Producers already have elected ARC or PLC, so now is the time to sign the contract and enroll for the 2014 and 2015 crop years. I also remind dairy operations to enroll for coverage in 2016. Just $100 covers 90 percent of milk production at a $4 margin, and with incremental premiums, up to an $8 margin can be covered."
For the latest on southwest agriculture, please check out Southwest Farm Press Daily and receive the latest news right to your inbox.
USDA expects more than 1.76 million farmers and ranchers to sign contracts to enroll in ARC or PLC. Covered commodities under the programs include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium grain rice (which includes short grain and sweet rice), safflower seed, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. Upland cotton is no longer a covered commodity.
The elections for each farm stay in place through 2018, but ownership and shares can be adjusted through the annual enrollment. For additional program information, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc.
MPP-Dairy offers protection to producers when the difference between the milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. Participating dairy farmers will remain in the program through 2018 and pay a $100 administrative fee each year. Producers also may select a different coverage level during open enrollment each year. MPP-Dairy payments are based on an operation's historical production, which will increase by 2.61 percent in 2016, if the operation participated in 2015, providing a stronger safety net. More than half of the nation's dairy producers are enrolled in the program. For more information, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/dairy.
These risk management programs were authorized by the Agriculture Act of 2014. Since enactment, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has progressively implemented each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.