U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini reminds farmers and ranchers that they have until September 30 to enroll in several key Farm Bill safety net programs – Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC), Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy).
“These programs provide important risk protection for farm and dairy operations, so it is important not to miss the deadline for enrollment,” said Dolcini. “Producers already have elected ARC or PLC, so now is the time to sign the contract and enroll for the 2014 and 2015 crop years. I also remind dairy operations to enroll for coverage in 2016. Just $100 covers 90 percent of milk production at a $4 margin, and with incremental premiums, up to an $8 margin can be covered.”
ARC and PLC programs trigger financial protections for agricultural producers when market forces cause substantial drops in crop prices or revenues. More than 1.76 million farmers and ranchers are expected to sign contracts to enroll in ARC or PLC. Covered commodities under the programs include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium grain rice (which includes short grain and sweet rice), safflower seed, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. Upland cotton is no longer a covered commodity. The elections for each farm stay in place through 2018, but ownership and shares can be adjusted through the annual enrollment.
MPP-Dairy offers protection to producers when the difference between the milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. Participating dairy farmers will remain in the program through 2018 and pay a $100 administrative fee each year. Producers also have the option of selecting a different coverage level during open enrollment each year. MPP-Dairy payments are based on an operation’s historical production, which will increase by 2.61 percent in 2016, if the operation participated in 2015, providing a stronger safety net. More than half of the nation’s dairy producers are enrolled in the program.