Agricultural producers who want to take maximum advantage of changes in the current farm bill should plan to attend one of a series of meetings this fall put on by Oklahoma State University in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“As crop producers finish with planting and harvest this fall, it is important they set aside time to consider their options for risk management programs as provided through the 2018 farm bill,” said Amy Hagerman, assistant professor of agricultural and food policy with OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.
Farmers and ranchers have the opportunity to elect to either Agricultural Risk Coverage County Option or Price Loss Coverage for the 2019 to 2023 crop years. However, producers need to be aware they have the option of changing their election in the last three years.
“Once elected, producers are locked in only for the first two years,” Hagerman said. “At the same time, producers will be able to update their PLC yield for all five years of the farm bill, if it is to their advantage.”
Bottom line: Producers who elect to ARC the first two years still will want to check their PLC yield. If the new yield is higher than their current yield, they will want to update the PLC payment yield.
“We have been told this is a one-time opportunity for the life of this farm bill,” Hagerman said.
Fourteen Oklahoma meetings have been scheduled. The first one is set for Sept. 26 in McAlester and the final meeting is Nov. 21 in Stillwater. Information about specific meetings, dates and locations is available on the internet at http://agecon.okstate.edu/agpolicy.
“There is no cost to attend but we are asking participants to RSVP ahead of time to aid in our planning and ensure we have sufficient meeting materials, refreshments and food on hand,” Hagerman said. “Most of the meetings will take place in the mornings, so we’re starting people off with a free breakfast thanks to generosity of a number of sponsors.”
Meetings will kick off with a keynote address by Oklahoma Farm Service Agency, followed by an overview of price market conditions. Sessions will be led by experts from FSA and OSU.
Trent Milacek, OSU Cooperative Extension area agricultural economist headquartered in Enid, said producers should “make every effort to attend one of the fall meetings and take advantage of the opportunity to examine whether PLC or ARC may best fit their specific operation.”
“During signup for the 2014 farm bill, wheat prices where consistently above $5.50,” he said. “This farm bill is very similar to the previous version. However, prices are consistently below $5.50. The ability to change the election cannot be understated as a risk management tool.”
Anyone interested in additional information about the OSU-USDA farm bill meetings this fall should contact their local OSU Cooperative Extension county office, typically listed in directories under “County Government.”
The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service is one of two state agencies administered by OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, and is a key part of the university’s state and federally mandated teaching, research and Extension land-grant mission.