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Agricultural Producers Have Until March 15 to Enroll in USDA’s Key Commodity Safety Net Programs for the 2024 Crop Year | News

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February 22, 2024 Press Release from the USDA: Columbus, Ohio, Feb. 22, 2024 – Agricultural producers who have not yet enrolled in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2024 crop year have until March 15, 2024, to revise elections and sign contracts. Both safety net programs, delivered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provide vital income support to farmers who experience substantial declines in crop prices or revenues for the 2024 crop year. In Ohio, producers have completed just over 58,000 contracts to date, representing 59% of the more than 98,000 expected contracts.    

“Agriculture Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage programs provide excellent risk protection, for market declines, at no cost to the producer. While we always hope for strong markets, anyone involved in production agriculture knows, the only thing certain is uncertainty,” said John Patterson, State Executive Director for FSA in Ohio. Many producers may be holding off on making your program elections pending planting decisions or maybe you’re working with a local advisor to consider how changes in the effective reference price might impact your election decisions. Please contact your local FSA county office as soon as possible to set an appointment so you’re on the books well in advance of the March 15 deadline.” 

Producers can elect coverage and enroll in ARC-County or PLC, which provide crop-by-crop protection, or ARC-Individual, which protects the entire farm. Although election changes for 2024 are optional, producers must enroll, with a signed contract, each year. If a producer has a multi-year contract on the farm, the contract will continue for 2024 unless an election change is made.  

If producers do not submit their election revision by the March 15, 2024, deadline, the election remains the same as their 2023 election for eligible commodities on the farm. Also, producers who do not complete enrollment and sign their contract by the deadline will not be enrolled in ARC or PLC for the 2024 year and will not receive a payment if one is triggered. Farm owners can only enroll in these programs if they have a share interest in the commodity. 

Producers are eligible to enroll farms with base acres for the following commodities:  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.  

Web-Based Decision Tools     

Many universities offer web-based decision tools to help producers make informed, educated decisions using crop data specific to their respective farming operations. Producers are encouraged to use the tool of their choice to support their ARC and PLC elections.  

Crop Insurance Considerations 

Producers are reminded that enrolling in ARC or PLC programs can impact eligibility for some crop insurance products offered by USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA). Producers who elect and enroll in PLC also have the option of purchasing Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) through their Approved Insurance Provider, but producers of covered commodities who elect ARC are ineligible for SCO on their planted acres.  

Unlike SCO, RMA’s Enhanced Coverage Option (ECO) is unaffected by participating in ARC for the same crop, on the same acres. You may elect ECO regardless of your farm program election. 

Upland cotton farmers who choose to enroll seed cotton base acres in ARC or PLC are ineligible for the stacked income protection plan, or STAX, on their planted cotton acres. 

More Information   

For more information on ARC and PLC or to signup, producers should contact their USDA FSA County Office

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit usda.gov.

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