Farmers facing tough choices under new Farm Bill

YANKTON, S.D. (WNAX) – Farm bill signup is underway, and farmers are learning about changes in the new programs to help them decide which is best for their operation. Yankton County Farm Service Agency Executive Director David Charles says the Agricultural Risk Coverage or ARC-County Program and Price Loss Coverage or PLC program will again be offered which use 85-percent of base acres in the payment calculation.

However, there is a new option called ARC-IC or Individual Agriculture Risk Coverage, which is a revenue-based program using actual individual farm data and 65-percent of base acres.

The meetings were organized by Farm Credit Services of America and Crop Insurance Officer Elly Daisy says farmers have some tougher choices to make than under the last farm bill.

However, Daisy says farmers aren’t locked into the program for five years. They sign up for 2019 and 2020 at the same time and then will be able to pick whichever program they want annually for 2021 through 2023. Daisy says the amount of prevented plant acres in South Dakota may dictate which program is best for their operation for the initial sign up.

Charles says the other big and beneficial change in the new farm bill is how yield is calculated for the ARC- County program.

Signup runs through March 15 for the 2019 and 2020 program years, but farmers will already have a good idea of their production for 2019 when they sign up.