USDA eliminates payments for inactive farm managers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) ensured that inactive farm managers will no longer receive farm safety-net payments, which has been an issue in the past.

Now, farm safety-net payments will only be paid to farmers who operate under Congressional authority under the 2014 Farm Bill in joint ventures or general partnerships, with family farm operations being exempt.

"The federal farm safety-net programs are designed to protect against unanticipated changes in the marketplace for those who actively share in the risk of that farming operation," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. "To ensure that help goes to those who genuinely need it, such as America's farm families, the Farm Bill authorized USDA to close a loophole and limit payments from those not involved on a daily basis in nonfamily farm management."

The 1987 definition of "actively engaged" meant that some general partnerships and joint ventures had more managers on their farming operation than needed, but they qualified for more payments. The new rule goes into effect for the 2016 crop year, unless farmers have already planted for the 2016 fall planting season, in which case they have until the 2017 crop year to implement the new rule.

The charges that will be affected include payments for 2016 (and subsequent crop years) for Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs, Loan Deficiency Payments, and Marketing Loan Gains realized via the Marketing Assistance Loan program.

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United States Department of Agriculture

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