Do Your Homework On The 2014 Farm Bill
Department of Agriculture was left with the huge task of implementing
the new Farm Bill, once it became the law of the land. But, over the
course of the next few months, producers must make some major decisions
on how the farm legislation impacts their individual operations - and
these choices are likely to have long-lasting results. That's the
message from North Dakota State University Extension farm management
specialist Dwight Aakre.
means is farmers and ranchers will need to study the various options
that are available to them and then do some pencil pushing to
determine what fits best in their plans for the future. And the
stakes are high, since Aakre feels there
will be a definite advantage for those enrolling in the farm program
that runs through 2018.
All of the
commodity programs that farmers and ranchers have become familiar
with have now disappeared and have been replaced with new. And new
programs naturally mean an entirely new list of acronyms - PLC (Price
Loss Coverage), ARC (Agricultural Risk Coverage) and SCO
(Supplemental Coverage Option), are just a few that producers will
need to become familiar with.
with these new programs comes the opportunity to reallocate your
farm's base acres, and since payments under the 2014 Farm Bill are
calculated on base acres, it's important to research how a
reallocation of base acres could potentially impact your operation.
And once that decision on base acres, along with several other options,
is made later this year, that decision is locked in place for at
least the remaining duration of the farm bill.
And to make
no decision this year could be even worse, since the farm would be
locked into the default provisions of the program.
If you think
there are some weighty decisions that lie ahead, you're right. But,
the good part is there will be several informational sources at your
disposal, that will help make the decision process easier. University
Extension Services, major ag lenders, crop
insurance agencies, plus many others will soon have information,
spreadsheets and advice in place to help sort out the various options
available and which may work better in certain situations.
will have a reasonable amount of time to explore those options before
a final decision is required. No official time line has yet been set
forth by USDA, but Aakre expects it will be
late summer or early fall before farmers will be asked to register
their option choices at their local FSA offices.
indications would suggest that selecting the right options could have
a big pay back in terms of farm program payments. In a recent
education seminar conducted by Aakre, he
suggested farmers will definitely want to take part in this farm
program, since he expects some pretty good payments coming out of
this farm bill. But the question is, how do
you maximize those payments?
is do your homework. Decision time will
eventually arrive and the best results will come out of combining the
best information you have gathered with the research results you have
gained by going through the various scenarios.