There is still time to evaluate the options available under the new Farm Bill, but the clock is ticking, says Andrew Swenson, North Dakota State University Extension Farm Management specialist.
Land owners, or operators with current Farm Service Agency power-of-attorney, have until Feb. 27 to decide whether or not to reallocate base acres of a farm and update payment yields.
Farm operators and landowners who rent on crop-share must make decisions regarding a revenue protection program -- Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC), at the county or individual farm level, or a price protection program, Price Loss Coverage (PLC), by March 31.
Landowners may choose to keep their existing base acres or reallocate base acres using their 2009 through 2012 crop history. This can result in a big shift between base acre crops as many farmers in North Dakota have increased soybeans and corn acreage at the expense of crops such as wheat, barley and sunflowers.
Land owners can also update payment yields, crop by crop, taking the higher of the existing payment yield, associated with the now defunct Counter-Cyclical payment program, and a new one calculated from actual crop yields on the farm. It is the average yield per planted acre, only considering the years in which the crop was grown during the 2008-2012 time period, times 90%.
PLC payment yields should be updated whether or not a base crop is enrolled in the PLC program, Swenson advises. The higher yields will go "on the books" at the FSA office and may be beneficial in some future farm bill.
Read more in the January issue of Dakota Farmer.
Source: NDSU Extension