farm bill

USDA Extends Sign-up Deadline for ARC, PLC Farm Programs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has extended the sign-up deadline for farm programs authorized under the 2014 Farm Bill from March 31 until Tuesday, April 7.

The extended deadline allows farm operators to finalize their choice between the Price Loss Coverage (PLC), Agriculture Risk Coverage – County (ARC-CO) and Agriculture Risk Coverage – Individual (ARC-IC) programs for the 2014-2018 crop years. If “no choice” is made, farm operators are automatically in the PLC program for 2015-2018, with no farm program payments for 2014.

The April 7 extension also applies to updating Farm Service Agency (FSA) payment yields and reallocating crop base acres.

Decision-making tools available online

For farmers who have been using online tools, there are many resources to help calculate which program options are best for individual situations.

Recently, Texas A & M University released a statement that their farm program decision making spreadsheet program may have been skewed for corn and soybeans, due to the assumed crop prices that were used. For those who selected the PLC program for corn, soybeans and wheat based on this analysis, they are asked to re-calculate their decision by April 7 to be sure the correct choice was made.

The preferred farm program analysis spreadsheet for the Upper Midwest is the University of Illinois FarmDoc program. This can be found at

The FarmDoc program website has also prepared 2014 ARC-CO corn and soybean payment estimates for nearly every county in the United States. The data can be found at:



Recent webinars featuring Farm Market Analyst Al Kluis and Farm Management Analyst Kent Thiesse outline information regarding farm program decisions and answer farmers’ questions. They are currently available for viewing online. These webinars were hosted by the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and sponsored by the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council and the Minnesota Corn Growers Association.

Farmers can also receive a free copy of an informational sheet on estimating 2014 corn and soybean ARC-CO payments by contacting Kent Thiesse at, or by contacting their local FSA office for more details.