So, what does this all mean?
According to Secretary Vilsack, farmers won’t sign up for new farm programs until their 2014 spring crops are in the bin next fall. In weighing the enrollment options for the new commodity programs, USDA decided sign up would begin with fall-planted crops such as wheat.
Vilsack said USDA has to operate the new commodity programs and roll them out in a thoughtful, constructive manner. He said he wants to ensure farmers understand the choices they have to make, the rules involved and impact of those choices as they relate to buying crop insurance.
Under the timeline laid out by the secretary, producers who grow crops such as winter wheat would first be given the option of signing up for the new crop insurance program, the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO), next fall. Then, before the November acreage reporting date, those farmers could opt out of SCO without paying the premium if they choose to enroll their wheat acres in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) program.
“It’s the best we can do, given the time the bill passed and the steps that have to be taken,” Vilsack said.
The decision is critical for producers because enrolling a commodity in ARC or the new target-price program, Price Loss Coverage, is irrevocable for the life of the new farm bill. Read the rest of Chris Clayton’s article…