ARC/PLC Payments Continue to Decline

DTN Farm Business Editor Katie Dehlinger reported last week that, “USDA began issuing checks, worth about $3 billion in total, for last year’s Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs this month. While any form of cash assistance in these tough economic times is generally considered good news, that total is less than half of 2016’s $7 billion payout. At the same time, some early forecasts for 2018 payments on crops currently being harvested don’t show much of a payment at all.

USDA’s press release stresses that even though the 2014 Farm Bill expired, it’s still making payments as mandated by statute.

“‘These program payments are mandated by Congress, but the Department has taken measures to ensure we meet our deadlines and get capital in the hands of those folks that need it most,’ Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said. ‘Unfortunately, 2018 has proven to be another tough year for producers across the Nation, making the timeliness even more critical.'”

The DTN article noted that, “A recent FarmDoc Daily blog walks through how the 2017 ARC-CO payments are calculated for corn, soybeans and wheat in three different counties across the state. The blog also includes national maps for each crop, which highlights the pockets of production where farmers can expect payments. You can find it here:…

It shows that benchmark prices for corn in 2018 is $3.70 per bushel, 25 cents below last year. For soybeans, the benchmark price will be $1.23 lower per bushel at $9.63. Wheat’s price benchmark, at $5.66 per bushel, is 46 cents lower than 2017.

“County yields, and therefore reliable estimates of 2018 ARC-Co payments, won’t be determined until the National Agricultural Statistic Service releases county yields in February. But as the FarmDoc blog concludes: ‘ARC-CO payments likely will not be prevalent for 2018 production. Building $0 per acre into cash flow estimates for the 2018 payments that will be received in fall 2019 seems prudent at this point.'”

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