Whether you are a farmer or not, chances are the Farm Bill may affect you more than you realize. While the name “Farm Bill” is easily recognizable, it’s slightly deceiving. Only about 15% of the bill has to do with what are known as Commodity Programs and Conservation Programs that can impact how agricultural producers deal with crop production as well as soil and water conservation. The other, much larger portion of the bill, goes to nutrition programs.
Last December the 2018 Farm Bill was passed and signed. Sign up for the new farm bill will go through March 15, 2020. While there are few major changes from the 2014 Farm Bill, there are still a few things producers should be aware of before making their selections.
Farmers still have the choice between Price Loss Coverage (PLC) or the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC), much of these programs are exactly like it was in the previous Farm Bill. One exciting change from the previous Farm Bill, is whichever selection you make (between PLC and ARC) you will not be stuck in that program for the entire five years of the Farm Bill. With this new 2018 Farm Bill, when you sign up next March, you’ll be signing up for the 2019 and 2020 crop year only. For 2021, 2022, and 2023, you will be able to switch between the different Farm Bill options each year. Many producers are excited for this change as originally, producers made a selection for the entirety of the Farm Bill (5 years). It’s hard to know what yields or prices are going to do in the upcoming years, let alone three or four years out!
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