(Posted Fri. Sep 26th, 2014)
The National Corn Growers Association today thanked U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for rolling out regulations related to the new revenue-based Agriculture Risk Coverage program and other risk management options designed to help growers facing sharp declines in commodity prices or significant production losses.
“Many farmers are facing a difficult harvest this year – a lot of corn coming in, but at a very low price,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre. “The end goal of our work on farm policy is to make sure growers get the help they need – when they need it. This key objective defined our leadership role in advocating for Ag Risk Coverage, and it’s coming just in time, when many farmers are seeing their incomes fall below the cost of production.”
Vilsack today announced the online tools which will help farmers select whether ARC or PLC coverage provides the best risk management option for their operations under future scenarios. USDA helped create online tools that allow farmers to enter information about their operation and see projections about what each program will mean for them under possible future scenarios. The new tools are now available at www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc.
USDA provided funds to the University of Illinois (lead for the National Coalition for Producer Education), along with Texas A&M (co-leads for the National Association of Agricultural and Food Policy) and the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri to develop the new programs.
This fall, growers will make a one-time choice of which farm program safety net they favor for protection against falling prices and/or adverse crop conditions. The Price Loss Coverage program is a price-only program very similar to past countercyclical programs, only with higher reference prices than in the past. The Agriculture Risk Coverage program establishes annual revenue benchmarks and delivers payments when the farm’s crop revenue or a county’s crop revenue is below 86 percent of the revenue guarantee. It has features that resemble GRIP insurance policies, based on county yields or individual yields. If farmers don’t sign up for a program for their 2014-2018 crops, Price Loss Coverage becomes the default beginning with the 2015 crop year.