Farm operators throughout Minnesota and the United States are facing two very important deadlines in the coming weeks at local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices.
July 15 is the final date for farm operators to report, or certify, their 2016 crop acres at local USDA FSA offices.
August 1 is the final date to enroll in the 2016 farm program at local FSA offices. Farm operators must enroll in the farm program each year to be eligible for farm program payments for that crop year. August 1 is also the deadline for farm operators to combine or separate farm units, or to make changes in their FSA Administrative County for the 2016 crop year.
Failure to certify their crop acres by July 15, or to enroll in the 2016 farm program by August 1, could lead to farm operators being ineligible for potential 2016 farm program payments, which will be paid in October, 2017. This could be a very costly mistake, one that most farm operators can not afford in 2016-17.
In Minnesota, and most other Midwestern States, over 90 percent of corn and soybean crop base acres are enrolled in the ARC-CO program, which is based on county crop yields and national average commodity prices. If 2016 corn and soybean yields are close to county benchmark yields, or slightly above, farm operators are likely to earn a fairly substantial ARC-CO payment on their 2016 corn and soybean base acres, based on current market year average (MYA) price projections for 2016-17. The 2016 ARC-CO payment levels will not be finalized until after September 1, 2017, so a lot can change on the payment projections.
At current 2016-17 MYA crop price projections, farm operators that are in the price loss coverage (PLC) program option, which is based on price only, could also be likely to earn a 2016 farm program payment for some crops, including corn. The 2016 PLC payments will also be paid in October, 2017.
For more details on 2016 acreage certification or 2016 farm program enrollment or farm program payments, farm operators should contact their local FSA office, or go to the FSA website.