The complexity of the 2014 Farm Bill continues to draw interest in where to get information to help understand the options. Although it's the 2014 Farm Bill, its impact continues through 2018, so it's a big deal.
Purdue University Extension and Indiana Farm Bureau teamed up late last year to host a series of farm bill meetings across the state. Four of those meetings remain, and resume again on Tuesday, Jan. 6. You may want to try to make the meeting closes to you.
The meetings are:
• Wabash, Honeywell Center, downtown Wabash, Jan. 6
• Batesville, Knights of Columbus, Jan. 8
• Lafayette, Beck's Ag center at Purdue ACRE on Jan. 9
• Allen County Coliseum, Ft. Wayne, on Jan. 15.
In addition, several counties are planning meetings. Some of those are still in the planning stage. Most are morning or afternoon meetings.
The Farm Service Agency partnered with various universities early on to develop computer modeling programs that can help simplify your decision-making process. You can run these from your own computer in your home or farm office any time.
The one that most closely fits Indiana's situation, according to FSA personnel, is likely the 2014 Farm Bill planning tool developed by the University of Illinois. Sources say it was just updated a few days ago. Although it works in the same way as before, some helpful features have been added.
If you have a farm in the FSA program and do not participate in the process and make your own election, your farm will be entered in the PLC program by default.
Jim Mintert, Purdue Extension, and several other sources believe that in Indiana in most cases, ARC-County or ARC- Individual might be a better fit. You will need to run comparisons on your own situation to decide for sure.