Farm Bill Decision Deadline Fast Approaching

By: Chris Zoller, Mary Griffith, Ben Brown, OSU Extension

Enrollment in the 2018 Farm Bill programs (PLC, ARC-CO, and ARC-IC) ends on March 16th.  If you do not enroll by this date you will default to the election you made in the previous Farm Bill and receive NO PAYMENTS for the 2019 program year.  This same election holds true for 2020.

As a reminder, PLC is a price protection/income loss option that covers declines in crop prices and the ARC-CO program is an income support option based on county-level benchmark revenues and guarantees compared to actual revenues.  For those with prevent planted acres, the ARC-IC program may be worth consideration.  ARC-IC issues payments when individual crop revenue is less than the guarantee and uses individual yields, rather than the county yields. Continue reading

Strategies for Using ARC-IC

By: Gary Schnitkey, Krista Swanson, Nick Paulson, Jonathan Coppess, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics University of Illinois; Carl Zulauf and Ben Brown, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics Ohio State University

Strategies for evaluating Agricultural Risk Coverage at the Individual level (ARC-IC) are discussed in this article given that 2019 farm yields are known and can aid in making decisions.  We suggest estimating 2019 ARC-IC payments for each FSA farm and then ranking them from the highest to lowest payment level.  Since combined farms may not have the same payment as separate farms, we suggest evaluating combining farms beginning with the highest level and working the way down the list.  This procedure focuses totally on 2019 payments and ignores 2020 payments.  The decision to enroll in ARC-IC based on what is known for 2019,  introduces the risk of receiving a 2019 ARC-IC payment while not getting a 2020 payment that may occur when choosing ARC at the county level (ARC-CO) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC). Continue reading

ARC-IC in 2019: Release of a 2019 ARC-IC Payment Calculator

By: Gary Schnitkey, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois

Agricultural Risk Coverage at the Individual Level (ARC-IC) should be considered as a commodity title alternative for 2019 and 2020 in two special cases:  1) if a Farm Service Agency (FSA) farm has all its acres as prevent plant or 2) the FSA farm has low yields.  Other cases may exist as well (see farmdoc dailyOctober 29, 2019 for more information). A newly released tool — the ARC-IC Payment Calculator — will calculate ARC-IC payments for one FSA farm enrolled in ARC-IC.  It will not handle the case of multiple FSA farms enrolled in ARC-IC.  This tool is part of the 2018 Farm Bill What-If Tool, a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that can be downloaded from the farmdoc website ( We suggest farmers estimate 2019 ARC-IC payments by FSA farm, thereby allowing more informed decisions to be made between commodity title alternatives. Continue reading

From Across the Field – 11/14/2019

Holiday Season is Here

It is hard to believe that the holiday season is upon us. Thanksgiving is only two weeks away and Christmas will come fast. I hope you had a good Veterans Day and had a chance to reflect upon the many blessings we have due to the efforts of our Veterans. Thank you to all that have served.

Late fall is one of my favorite times of the year. Harvest is usually winding down, the cooler temperatures outside makes a cup off coffee in the morning even better, Buckeye football is in full tilt, and nearly all of my program planning for the start of the next year is complete. Stay tuned throughout the winter for information on some great programming in Henry and surround counties. Continue reading

From Across the Field – 10/24/2019

Farm Bill and Falling Leaves

Growing up in Appalachia there is always brilliant colored fall foliage around this time of year. As spectacular as the colors were it always amazed me that people would drive down from Columbus just to see leaves before they drop. Going into my third harvest season here in Henry County, I appreciate the changing of the leaves more than ever, that is until they begin to litter my yard. Continue reading

The Case for Looking at the ARC-IC (ARC-Individual) Program Option

By: Carl Zulauf and Ben Brown, Ohio State University, and Gary Schnitkey, Krista Swanson, Jonathan Coppess, and Nick Paulson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, October 2019

Click here for the complete article as PDF

ARC-IC (Agriculture Risk Coverage – Individual) has received less attention than ARC-CO (ARC – County) and PLC (Price Loss Coverage).  ARC-IC is operationally more complex, thus harder to explain and understand.  It pays on only 65% of program base acres while ARC-CO and PLC pay on 85% of base acres.  Nevertheless, ARC-IC is worth considering if an FSA farm has one or more of the appropriate production attributes.  These attributes include (1) 100% prevent plant acres on a FSA farm, (2) high year-to-year production variability, (3) much higher farm than ARC-CO and PLC yields, and/or (4) acres planted to fruits and vegetables.  The prevent plant attribute is more relevant than normal in 2019. Continue reading

Weekly Farm Economics: The Agricultural Risk Coverage — County Level (ARC-CO) Option in the 2018 Farm Bill

By: Gary Schnitkey, Jonathan Coppess, Nick Paulson, Krista Swanson, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois and Carl Zulauf, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics, Ohio State University. farmdoc daily (9):173

Farmers and landowners can now make the decision between farm programs, receiving commodity title payments from either Agricultural Risk Coverage at the county level (ARC-CO) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) for each covered commodity with base acres on the farm; the Agricultural Risk Coverage at the individual level (ARC-IC) is also available but must be elected for all covered commodities with base acres on the farm. For the 2019 and 2020 programs, the deadline for the decision for each Farm Service Agency (FSA) farm is March 15th, 2020. This article describes the ARC-CO option contained in 2018 Farm Bill. Future articles will describe PLC, making choices between PLC and ARC-CO, and ARC-IC. Continue reading

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018: Initial review

By: Jonathan CoppessGary SchnitkeyNick PaulsonBenjamin GramigKrista Swanson, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics University of Illinois and Carl Zulauf, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics, Ohio State University

On Monday Dec. 10, 2018, the House and Senate conference committee released the conference report for the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018; the final version of the 2018 Farm Bill. On Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, the Senate moved quickly to pass the conference report with a final vote in favor of the farm bill of 87 to 13. On Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, the House voted overwhelmingly to pass the farm by 369 to 47 (16 not voting). Given that it passed by veto-proof majorities, it is likely that the President will sign it and the Agricultural Act of 2018 will soon become law. Continue reading

Farm Bill Expected to Meet Resistance

From Ohio Ag Net

The first comprehensive proposal for a new federal farm bill calls for changes to payments to farmers when commodity prices dip or when they adopt environmentally friendly measures on their farms.

The proposed legislation, which was drafted and endorsed in a partisan vote by the House of Representatives’ Agriculture Committee, also calls for controversial changes to the work requirements for those receiving food stamps.

The federal farm bill pays for a range of programs associated with food, agriculture and rural America, including crop subsidies and insurance for farmers along with federal food programs for the poor. The current farm bill is scheduled to expire Oct. 1. Continue reading