Farmers have until February 27 to retool acreage and yield paperwork with the Farm Service Agency, thanks to the new farm bill. That's an opportunity that hasn't come along since the late 1980s.
By March 31, farmers will also need to determine which of two new farm safety net programs they want to participate in for the next five years.
According to agriculture.com, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack told reporters this week that between 75,000 and 80,000 producers have elected either the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) program or the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program.
The 2012 census of agriculture reports about 2.1 million farms across the country, meaning only about four percent of producers nationwide have actually signed up for ARC or PLC.
Farm Service Agency Administrator Val Dolcini says the ARC program is a better fit for Midwestern farmers, who will default into the more Southern-minded PLC program, if they don't make a choice by the end of March.