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Smaller learning curve for farm bill

(CIFN file photo)

The new farm bill has a much smaller learning curve compared to past bills, but USDA still has several rules to write before everything is final.

With the government shutdown, USDA offices have been closed which means the agency has not had time to interpret the bill and write rules. Farmers will probably plant their 2019 crop not knowing what options are available.

This farm bill did not hurt crop insurance, according to Doug Yoder, crop agency manager with COUNTRY Financial. Growers will have ARC and PLC program choices again. The first choice will last for the 2019 and 2020 crop years with annual program elections starting in 2021.

“They project 80 percent of Midwest row crop farmers will switch to PLC,” Yoder explained.

There will be no more ARC-IC as ARC-CO is the only ARC option. A new trend adjustment will be available, which is similar to the Trend Adjusted Yield option in crop insurance. Farmers will have the option to update their program payment yields for PLC only in 2020.

Once the rules are written, Yoder suggests attending informational farm bill meetings to learn more about the issue.

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