With the possibility of substantial money being left on the table, the Minnesota Farm Service Agency is reminding farmers to sign up for the ARC/PLC programs.
“About a fourth of the farms in Minnesota are enrolled for 2014 and 2105 ARC/PLC,” said Michelle Page, Chief Agricultural Program Specialist for Minnesota FSA. “With the Sept. 30 deadline nearing, we still have a ways to go.”
David Schreiber, County Executive Director for Murray County FSA in southwestern Minnesota says their outlook is a little better, with a little under half of their farms signed up, but he says with harvest looming, that’s too many farmers risking substantial payments through the program.
“When we talk to people, we suggest they get in the office in the next two to three weeks,” he said. “Once they get into Sept., they aren’t thinking about paperwork. We need to get these farmers in here now.”
Schreiber said in his estimate, farmers haven’t completed the sign-up because of the lapse in time from when they first inititially enrolled in step one, and when they determined their acreage in step two.
“We didn’t open the enrollment until June 17,” he said. “If you haven’t signed a contract since June 17, you probably aren’t signed up.”
Page said confusion could have possibly occurred during July, when many farmers were in their local FSA offices reporting their yield information, but not necessarily completing a contract. Page says farmers will receive an ARC or PLC contract when they have completed enrollment.
Both Page and Schreiber said many county FSA offices are getting the word out to their farmers, and with so many farmers yet to sign up, FSA offices could get busy.
“We’re talking big money left on the table,” Schreiber said. “That’s pay off some chemical bills or some machinery payments or something.”
The deadline to sign up for the 2014 and 2015 ARC/PLC programs is Sept. 30.