The U.S. Department of Agriculture is in the midst of processing $1.8 billion in producer payments to help offset financial hardships due to market challenges. Payments are being provided to farmers who signed up for Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) for the 2020 crop year. The funding support provided through each of the programs is meant to assist certain producers struggling with challenges related to COVID-19 and other market fluctuations. Payments for producers enrolled in ARC-County, ARC-Individual, and PLC are being processed this month for covered commodities.
“As we build back better than we were before, we will continue to support our farmers, ranchers and producers as they overcome the challenges associated with COVID-19, climate change and other issues,” Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Zach Ducheneaux said in a press release. “We also know producers prefer to get good prices for their crops in the marketplace, but these programs provide stability when markets are volatile, making a big difference in the lives of farm families across the country.”
Producers have been increasingly enrolling in both ARC and PLC programs. In 2019, there were more than 1.7 million contracts signed. That number increased to nearly 1.8 million in 2020 with 251 million out of 273 million base acres enrolled in the programs. Signed contracts again increased in 2021, surpassing 1.8 million from the previous year. Altogether, the two safety-net programs have provided producer payments of more than $32.5 billion since they were authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.
Producers are being encouraged to contact their local USDA Service Center for information about enrolling or making changes for either ARC or PLC in 2022. The election and enrollment period will remain open through March 15, 2022. “We are excited for the 2022 signup and hope producers take advantage of these valuable programs,” said Ducheneaux.