The Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG) wants to remind producers that they have until March 15, 2021, to select and enroll in either the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program for the 2021 crop year. Failure to make a valid election and enrollment for the 2021 program year by that date will result in ineligibility for the 2021 crop year payment. All signatures, including landlords, must be submitted by the March 15 deadline.
A new provision in the 2018 Farm Bill gives growers the flexibility to choose ARC or PLC for each crop year from 2021 to 2023. This was one of WAWG’s biggest priorities for the new farm bill, as the 2014 Farm Bill forced growers to choose one program to apply to all five years covered under that legislation.
Growers need to contact their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office to schedule an appointment as soon as possible as resources and staff are limited at this time due to COVID-19 restrictions. Farm owners cannot enroll in either program unless they have a share interest in the farm.
The financial health of your farming operation for 2021 may be greatly affected by the failure to elect and enroll in ARC/PLC by the March 15 deadline.
According to Kansas State University, if current prices hold through the end of the respective marketing years for each crop, there would be no PLC payment for corn, grain sorghum or soybeans, while wheat would have a 2020/21 PLC payment of $0.44, the difference between the reference price of $5.50 and the price of $5.06. This payment, if realized, will likely take place in October 2021.
There are several online tools to help producers determine which program is best for their operation, but Washington State University and WAWG recommend the Texas A&M decision tool. That tool can be accessed at https://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu/solutions/farm-bill-decision-aid-tool/