On September 25, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack unveiled new programs to help farmers better manage risk. The new tools are now available to give farmers the information they need to choose a new safety net program.
Vilsack says, "The 2014 Farm Bill represented some of the largest farm policy reforms in decades."
Direct payments were one of the most controversial farm subsidies, paying farmers regardless of production so as not to distort planting decisions. With the farm bill passed this year, direct payments are gone.
Now, the programs are the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) the cornerstones of the safety net programs in the 2014 farm bills. Producers will have until early spring of 2015 to select which program is best for their business.
On September 29, farm owners can visit local Farm Service Agency offices to update yield history and/or reallocate base acres, which is the first step before choosing a new program. The next step is scheduled for the winter when producers make their selection of ARC or PLC programs. Whichever they choose, they are locked into for the remainder of the 2014 to 2018 crop years.