MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (April 14, 2014)--A series of fact sheets on the Agricultural Act of 2014 - the farm bill - is available to help the agricultural community prepare for changes introduced by the recently passed federal legislation.
University of Minnesota Extension economist Kent Olson prepared the six-part series, which emphasizes changes in programs and rules affecting crop commodities.
"Passage of the farm bill removes uncertainty about what farm programs will be for the next five years," Olson said. "Farmers will have to make choices, but the rules are different compared to the old farm bill."
Gone are the Average Crop Revenue (ACRE) and Counter-Cyclical Program (CCP). In their place, farmers must decide between new programs: the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) or the county- or individual-based Agriculture Revenue Coverage (ARC).
The fact sheets are on Extension's web site at www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/business/farm-bill/. They cover details on the new crops programs, including comparative information designed to help farmers choose their best option. Other information focuses on updating payment yields and reallocating base acres.
"There is also an important warning: Farmers have to act. If farmers and landowners fail to make a unanimous election of the program in which they enroll, the bill says that no payments can be made to the farm for the 2014 farm year and the farm will be deemed to have elected PLC for the 2014 through 2018 crop years," Olson notes.
The farm bill information sheets are offered through Extension's Agricultural Business Management program. Olson and his colleagues connect farmers and other industry professionals with University research-based information on farm management and marketing. More information is available at www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/business/.
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