Editor’s note: Anita Wilson is an agricultural program specialist with the Arkansas FSA. Bobby Coats is a professor with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.
Generic base acres are retained on the farm at the tract level and may:
- Not be reallocated
- Be planted to any crop
- Receive ARC or PLC payments for the acres planted to a covered commodity
- Be reduced for CRP participation
- Be reduced when taken out of agricultural production
- Be reduced on farms having more base acres than available cropland
Defining generic base acres — Former upland cotton base acres. Generic base acres are not involved in, or subject to, base acre reallocation. If generic base acres are planted to a covered commodity in a given year, then those acres are considered base acres for that planted covered commodity in that crop year. For example, if a farm with 500 generic base acres plants 250 of those generic base acres to corn, and the farm elected ARC-County Coverage for corn, then those 250 generic base acres are treated as corn base in that crop year and receive an ARC-County Coverage payment if one is triggered.
What happens to the upland cotton base acres I had on my farm?
Cotton is no longer considered a covered commodity; cotton base acres will now be called “generic base acres.” For ARC/PLC, if “generic base acres” are planted to a covered commodity, they will be treated as that commodity’s base acres.
What are the base update options?
The owner or owners of the farm may either: (1) retain the base acres of covered commodities on the farm as of Sept. 30, 2013, or (2) choose to reallocate bases.
What is the reallocation formula?
Base acres are reallocated using the acreage of each covered commodity in proportion to the 4-year average of acres that were planted or considered planted (P&CP) to all covered commodity crops, except upland cotton (now generic base), during 2009-2012.
Must the covered commodity be planted on a farm to receive a PLC payment and how is generic base treated?
Under PLC, the covered commodity doesn’t need to be planted to receive payment. The PLC payment is issued based on 85 percent of the crop’s base acres. To receive PLC payments on generic base acres, a covered commodity must be planted on generic base acres. Attribution of the covered commodity or commodities planted on generic base acres depends on the amount and crop planted on those generic base acres.
Is the covered commodity required to be planted on a farm to receive an ARC-CO payment and how is generic base treated?
Under ARC-CO, the covered commodity is not required to be planted to receive the payment. To receive ARC-CO payments on generic base acres, a covered commodity must be planted on generic base acres. Attribution of the covered commodity or commodities planted on generic base acres depends on the amount and crop planted on those generic base acres.
What crops may have base acres reallocated and yields updated?
Only covered commodities may have base acres reallocated and yields updated. Covered commodities include wheat, oats, barley, corn, grain sorghum, rice, soybeans, sunflower seed, rapeseed, canola, safflower, flaxseed, mustard seed, crambe, sesame seed, dry peas, lentils, small chickpeas, large chickpeas and peanuts. Upland cotton is no longer a covered commodity.
Once I’ve taken action regarding base reallocation and yield updates, can I change my mind?
Any base reallocation and yield updates can be changed through the end of the ARC/PLC time designated to complete.
Core farm bill webinars available for viewing
Online tools, available at www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc and www.uaex.edu/farmbill, allow producers to explore projections on how ARC or PLC coverage will affect their operation under possible future scenarios.
The complete listing of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture and the Farm Service Agency series of webinars are listed below or can found at the following link: www.uaex.edu/farmbill.