2019 ARC, PLC payments out; sign-ups for 2021 now open

From the Farm Service Agency

Agricultural producers can now make elections and enroll in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2021 crop year. The sign-up period opened Oct. 13. These key U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) safety-net programs help producers weather fluctuations in either revenue or price for certain crops, and more than $5 billion in payments are in the process of going out to producers who signed up for the 2019 crop year. 

“Although commodity prices are starting to show a glimmer of improvement, recent depressed prices and drops in revenue, compounded by the effects of the pandemic, have seriously impacted the bottom line for most agricultural operations,” said Richard Fordyce, administrator of USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). “Through safety-net programs like ARC and PLC, we can help producers mitigate these financial stressors and keep the ag industry moving forward. Make time over the next few months to evaluate your program elections and enroll for the 2021 crop year.”

Enrollment for the 2021 crop year closes March 15, 2021.

ARC provides income support payments on historical base acres when actual crop revenue declines below a specified guaranteed level. PLC provides income support payments on historical base acres when the effective price for a covered commodity falls below its reference price. Covered commodities include barley; canola; large and small chickpeas; corn; crambe; flaxseed; grain sorghum; lentils; mustard seed; oats; peanuts; dry peas; rapeseed; long grain rice; medium and short grain rice; safflower seed; seed cotton; sesame; soybeans; sunflower seed; and wheat.

2021 elections and enrollment

Producers can elect coverage and enroll in crop-by-crop ARC-County or PLC, or ARC-Individual for the entire farm, for the 2021 crop year. Although election changes for 2021 are optional, enrollment (signed contract) is required for each year of the program. If a producer has a multi-year contract on the farm and makes an election change for 2021, it will be necessary to sign a new contract. If an election is not submitted by the deadline of March 15, 2021, the election defaults to the current election for crops on the farm from the prior crop year. 

For crop years 2022 and 2023, producers will have an opportunity to make new elections during those sign-ups. Farm owners cannot enroll in either program unless they have a share interest in the farm.

2019 crop year ARC and PLC payments

FSA began processing payments in mid-October for 2019 ARC-County (ARC-CO) and PLC on covered commodities that met payment triggers on farms enrolled for the 2019 crop year. In addition to the $5 billion now in process, FSA anticipates it will issue additional payments by the end of November for 2019 commodities covered under ARC-Individual (ARC-IC) and additional commodities that trigger PLC and ARC-CO payments for which rates have not yet been published.

Producers who had 2019 covered commodities enrolled in ARC-CO can visit the ARC and PLC webpage for payment rates applicable to their county and each covered commodity. For farms and covered commodities enrolled in 2019 PLC, the following crops met payment triggers: barley, canola, chickpeas (small and large), corn, dry peas, grain sorghum, lentils, peanuts, seed cotton and wheat.

2019 PLC payment rates for the following covered commodities have not been determined: crambe; flaxseed; long and medium grain rice; mustard seed; rapeseed; safflower; sesame seed; sunflower seed; and temperate Japonica rice. Payment rates for these commodities will be announced at a later date.

For additional questions and assistance, contact your local USDA service center. To locate your local FSA office, visit farmers.gov/service-center-locator.