Washington D.C. – Today, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced farm program payments would be going out beginning today for the 2015 crop year through the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) County program and the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program, which were both created in the 2014 Farm Bill. These programs provide essential revenue and price support for farmers across the country. In total, more than $7 billion in payments are being made through these programs, including around $1 billion in assistance for wheat farmers.
“This has been a difficult marketing year for farmers, with wheat prices lower than we’ve seen in decades,” said NAWG President Gordon Stoner. “ Years such as this demonstate the vital importance of a viable farm safety net, and I applaud Secretary Vilsack’s quick action in rolling out these programs. The program payments being announced today will provide a needed cushion for farmers during these tough economic conditions in wheat country.”
With today’s announcement, NAWG will dig deeper into the data that was used to calculate county payment rates and will seek feedback from states about the effectiveness of these programs. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has posted maps on its website showing the payment rate ranges for wheat, corn, and soybeans through the ARC-County program, as well as revenue maps for those commodities. Those maps can be found at this link. As required by Congress in the Budget Control Act of 2011, all payments are reduced by 6.8 percent as part of sequestration requirements.