USDA begins issuing safety net payments to farmers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) started making safety-net payments on Monday to approximately half of the 1.7 million farms in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs.

"Unlike the old direct payments program, which paid farmers in good years and bad, the 2014 Farm Bill authorized a new safety net that protects producers only when market forces or adverse weather cause unexpected drops in crop prices or revenues," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. "For example, the corn price for 2014 is 30 percent below the historical benchmark price used by the ARC-County program, and revenues of the farms participating in the ARC-County program are down by about $20 billion from the benchmark during the same period. The nearly $4 billion provided today by the ARC and PLC safety net programs will give assistance to producers where revenues dropped below normal."

Nationwide, 96 percent of soybean farms, 91 percent of corn farms, and 66 percent of wheat farms elected the ARC-County coverage option. Ninety-nine percent of long grain rice and peanut farms, and 94 percent of medium grain rice farms elected the PLC option.

Disbursements will be made in the coming months after marketing year average prices are published by the USDA. ARC-County and PLC participants who grow long and medium grain rice (except temperate Japonica rice) can expect disbursement in November, while remaining oilseeds and chickpeas will see disbursement in December and temperate Japonica rice payments will occur in early February 2016.

ARC-individual payments will be in November.

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U.S. Department of Agriculture

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