Market News & Headlines >> ARC/PLC Enrollment Starting

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on Monday that eligible producers may now formally enroll in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for 2014 and 2015. The enrollment period begins Wednesday, June 17, and will end Sept. 30, 2015.

More than 1.76 million farmers elected ARC or PLC, USDA said in a news release on its website, topping the 1.7 million producers who were enrolled to receive direct payments, which were replaced with more market-based ARC and PLC payment formulas under the 2014 Farm Bill. Producers had to elect one of the two options, the price-average formula of ARC or the more fixed-price formula of PLC, and stick with their choice for the five years of the farm bill.

Corn and soybean farmers opted overwhelmingly for ARC in the recent election period, with most wheat farmers also electing ARC. USDA said 96% of soybean farms, 91% of corn farms and 66% of wheat farms elected ARC-county. In contrast, 99% of long grain rice farms, 99% of peanut farms and 94% of medium grain rice farms elected PLC

On its website, USDA’s Farm Service Administration said base reallocation results indicated corn and soybean acreage base increased the most relative to 2013 enrolled base— rising by 12.8 million and 4.7 million acres, respectively. Wheat base declined by nearly 9.9 million acres.

Program yields for corn, soybeans and wheat all increased by about 30% relative to counter-cyclical payment program (CCP) yields for those farms electing PLC and updating yields. “For some pulse and minor oilseed crops, the increase was significantly higher,” FSA said, noting many CCP yields dated back to the early 1980s. Updated yields are relevant only for the PLC program.

Covered commodities under ARC and PLC include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium grain rice (which includes short grain and sweet rice), safflower seed, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. Upland cotton is no longer a covered commodity.