The new 2014 Farm Bill programs are different than anything you have seen before. For one thing, the landowner is the one who must sign when the final election is made specifying which program the farm will be in for the next five years, or the five-year period beginning with the 2014 crop year.
Does that mean payments, when any are generated by the new programs, go to the landowner instead of the tenant?
The short answer is no. However, Carl Schweikhardt, chief production adjustment specialist with FSA in Indiana, understands why someone would ask the question.
"There is confusion on payments, mainly due to the base/yield updates and election process that we have to go through first," he says. Yield updates and base reallocation, if you choose to do them, must be done by Feb. 27. You must actually make program elections by March 31. The landowner is required to sign in these instances.
"After the base/yield and election processes, we will have an annual enrollment, and then it will be determined who will be eligible for payment," he notes.
This part will be similar to past determinations in previous programs, he indicates. Who gets the payment when there is one will depend upon how the owner and tenant agree to farm the farm, and who has interest in the crops for that year.
For example, if it's a cash lease agreement and the tenant gets 100% of the crops for a rental payment, then the tenant will get 100% of the payment, he notes. However, if it's a 50/50 share lease, once more common but still used, then the payments will be split on a 50/50 basis between landowner and tenant. If it is some other share arrangement, the payments will be split based on however the share percentages are set up for that farm for that year.