Agriculture Secretary announces risk management programs for farmers

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited Minnesota on Thursday.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today unveiled highly anticipated new rules about Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) authorized by the 2014 farm bill.

Farmers must make a decision to 1) maintain the farm’s 2013 base acres of covered commodities through 2018; or, 2) reallocate base acres among those covered commodities planted on the farm at any time during the 2009 – 2012 crop years.

Complete details on PLC/ARC, along with web tools and other resources to aid farmers in the decision-making process, can be found at the USDA’s Farm Service Agency’s ARC/PLC page.

“The 2014 Farm Bill represented some of the largest farm policy reforms in decades. One of the Farm Bill’s most significant reforms is finally taking effect,” Vilsack said in a news release. “Farming is one of the riskiest businesses in the world. These new programs help ensure that risk can be effectively managed so that families don’t lose farms that have been passed down through generations because of events beyond their control. But unlike the old direct payment program, which paid farmers in good years and bad, these new initiatives are based on market forces and include county – and individual – coverage options. These reforms provide a much more rational approach to helping farmers manage risk.”

Vilsack also discussed the new risk management programs during an event at the University of Minnesota attended by Minnesota Corn Growers Association President Ryan Buck. Also at the event were U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken along with U.S. Congressman Collin Peterson and Tim Walz.

Update: Here is a story on the Secretary’s visit from the Star Tribune.

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