Agricultural producers can now make elections and enroll in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2021 crop year. The signup period is open through March 15, 2021, and producers are encouraged to begin working with their USDA county Farm Service Agency (FSA) office now to complete the process.
These key U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) safety-net programs help producers weather fluctuations in either revenue or price for certain crops. ARC/PLC payments for the 2019 production season were distributed in October, and payments for the 2020 production season will go out in fall 2021.
“Safety-net programs like ARC and PLC are designed to help producers mitigate some of the financial stressors associated with crop production. I encourage farmers to evaluate their program elections and enroll for the 2021 crop year,” said Nebraska FSA State Executive Director Nancy Johner.
Producers can learn more about the ARC and PLC options during a University of Nebraska-Lincoln Farm and Ranch Management Series webinar scheduled for 12:00 p.m. CT on Thursday, Dec. 17. Nebraska FSA Production and Compliance Programs Chief Cathy Anderson will present on ARC and PLC options for the 2021 production season, while Brad Lubben from the UNL Department of Agricultural Economics will discuss the economics of the programs and provide an Ag Policy Update. Those interested can register at go.unl.edu/ou4m.
ARC provides income support payments on historical base acres when actual crop revenue declines below a specified guaranteed level. PLC provides income support payments on historical base acres when the effective price for a covered commodity falls below its reference price.
Covered commodities include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium and short grain rice, safflower seed, seed cotton, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat.
2021 Elections and Enrollment
Producers can elect coverage and enroll in crop-by-crop ARC-County or PLC, or ARC-Individual for the entire farm, for the 2021 crop year. Although election changes for 2021 are optional, enrollment (signed contract) is required for each year of the program. If a producer has a multi-year contract on the farm and makes an election change for 2021, it will be necessary to sign a new contract.
If an election is not submitted by the deadline of March 15, 2021, the election defaults to the current election for crops on the farm from the prior crop year.
All program participants are encouraged to review their previous program elections, Johner said.
For crop years 2022 and 2023, producers will have an opportunity to make new elections during those signups. Farm owners cannot enroll in either program unless they have a share interest in the farm.
Web-Based Decision Tools
In partnership with USDA, the University of Illinois and Texas A&M University offer web-based decision tools to assist producers in making informed, educated decisions using crop data specific to their respective farming operations. Tools include:
· Gardner-farmdoc Payment Calculator, the University of Illinois tool that offers farmers the ability to run payment estimate modeling for their farms and counties for ARC-County and PLC.
· ARC and PLC Decision Tool, the Texas A&M tool allows producers to analyze payment yield updates and expected payments for 2021. Producers who have used the tool in the past should see their username and much of their farm data already available in the system.
For more information on ARC and PLC, including the two online decision tools, visit the ARC and PLC webpage.
Persons with disabilities who require accommodations to attend or participate in the webinar should contact the Nebraska FSA State Office at (402) 437-5581 or Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339, or email firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, Dec. 16.
For additional questions and assistance, call your local USDA service center. To locate your local FSA office, visit farmers.gov/service-center-locator.