Implementation of 2014 Farm Bill allows farmers time for choices
To enable farmers to make an informed choice between PLC and ARC, the USDA will “establish the educational materials and training materials that will be used to educate you and educate our field staff. We will be soon be dispersing the $3 million that Congress has provided for the tab of those training materials and the web-based tools that you all will use and study over the course of the next several months to make determinations and decisions about your operation. We will establish the opportunities that will assist us in our outreach which we can expect to do this in the summer and fall of this year,” Vilsack said.
“We will allow you during the course of that summer and fall to update production history. We want to make sure we are communicating with you about base and yields in your production history. We are going to hope to publicize and focus on publicizing the final program and the regulations for both ARC and PLC in the fall of 2014.
“We will allow [you], after that occurs, to update your information concerning yields and relocate your business if you need to do that with the hope that by the end of 2014 and early 2015, you will be in a position to be able to make your election and your decisions. So, we hope that that reassures you that we understand the importance of getting these programs up and going as quickly as we possibly can.”
Farmers will know their 2014 yields and production before they have to make the choice between PLC and ARC. Any payments under these programs will not be made until 2015 after the 2014 marketing year ends—the price protection is based on the marketing year average price received by farmers.
To be able to implement the county-level coverage under SCO, the Vilsack said, “we have to have enough data and enough history and information that will allow us to make an appropriate determination from an actuarial standpoint of precisely how to price these options. So, we will be looking at information. And we have already begun that process of looking at whether or not in each county where a commodity is being grown, whether it will have an adequate number of farms, whether we have an adequate number of years of back history that will allow us to do a good job of actuarially determining the cost of this option.
“We expect and anticipate that for most counties, for corn, soybeans, grain, sorghum, cotton and rice, we will be able to publish maps sometime in the summer and fall of 2015 that will give you a sense of precisely where this coverage will be made available. And we recognize that this creates a dilemma, particularly for wheat producers. We know that you may have to make elections and option before you have all the information. You may have to make a decision about coverage before you really know for sure what you are doing relative to the various programs.
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