Agricultural Producers Have Until March 15 to Enroll in USDA's Key Commodity Safety Net Programs
March 8, 2023
FARGO, N.D., March.9, 2023 – Agricultural producers who have not yet enrolled in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2023 crop year have until March 15, 2023, to elect and enroll a contract. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers these two safety net programs to provide vital income support to farmers experiencing substantial declines in crop prices or revenues.
“The Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs provide critical financial protections to many American farmers. As producers across the country deal with unexpected market volatility and natural disasters, these programs offer much-needed support and stability,” said Marcy Svenningsen, State Executive Director for FSA in North Dakota. “I am encouraging producers to reach out to their county offices to learn about program eligibility and election options today, so that they can begin the enrollment process as soon as possible.”
Producers can elect coverage and enroll in ARC-County or PLC, which are both commodity-by-commodity, or ARC-Individual, which covers the entire farm. Although election changes for 2023 are optional, producers must enroll through a signed contract each year. Additionally, if a producer has a multi-year contract on their farm and makes an election change for 2023, they will need to sign a new contract.
If producers do not submit an election by the March 15, 2023, deadline, the election remains the same as the 2022 election for commodities on the farm. Farm owners cannot enroll in either program unless they have a share interest in the commodity.
In North Dakota, producers have completed 42,618 contracts to date, representing 63.36% of the more than 64,226 expected contracts.
Producers who do not complete enrollment by the deadline will not be enrolled in ARC or PLC for the 2023 year and will not receive a payment if triggered.
Producers are eligible to enroll farms with base acres for the following commodities: barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium and short grain rice, safflower seed, seed cotton, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat.
In partnership with USDA, two web-based decision tools are available to assist producers in making informed, educated decisions using crop data specific to their respective farming operations:
• Gardner-farmdoc Payment Calculator, a tool available through the University of Illinois allows producers to estimate payments for farms and counties for ARC-CO and PLC.
• ARC and PLC Decision Tool, a tool available through Texas A&M University that allows producers to estimate payments and yield updates and expected payments for 2023.
Crop Insurance Considerations and Decision Deadline
ARC and PLC are part of a broader safety net provided by USDA, which also includes crop insurance and marketing assistance loans.
Producers are reminded that ARC and PLC elections and enrollments can impact eligibility for some crop insurance products.
Producers on farms with a PLC election have the option of purchasing Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) through their Approved Insurance Provider. However, producers on farms where ARC is the election are ineligible for SCO on their planted acres for that crop on that farm.
Unlike SCO, the Enhanced Coverage Option (ECO) is unaffected by an ARC election. Producers may add ECO regardless of the farm program election.
Upland cotton farmers who choose to enroll seed cotton base acres in ARC or PLC are ineligible for the stacked income protection plan (STAX) on their planted cotton acres for that farm.
Producers should contact their crop insurance agent to make certain that the election and enrollment made at FSA follows their intention to participate in STAX or SCO coverage. Producers have until March 15, 2023, to make the appropriate changes or cancel their ARC or PLC contract.
For more information on ARC and PLC, producers can visit the ARC and PLC webpage or contact their local USDA Service Center.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit http://www.usda.gov.