LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Farm Bureau applauds the Farm Services Agency for expediting sign-up procedures after Congress extended the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 by one year to include the 2013 crop season.
“The extension of the 2008 Farm Bill by one year is helpful in that it provides some clarity for the coming season,” said Randy Veach, president of the Arkansas Farm Bureau. “We’re thankful for FSA’s efforts to help farmers sign up for these programs, particularly at a time when many are in the process of securing their 2013 crop loans.”
The extended programs include, among others, the Direct and Counter-Cyclical Payment Program (DCP), the Average Crop Revenue Election Program (ACRE), and the Milk Income Loss Contract Program (MILC). Sign-up for the DCP and ACRE begins on Feb. 19. MILC contracts are automatically extended to Sept. 30.
As discussions with lending institutions are occurring and planting decisions now being made, farmers are particularly aware of the need for the FSA programs.
“Many of our farmers need these programs as they go through loan qualifying process,” Veach said. “Frankly, some are going to need the direct payments to make the financial equation work for them. Thankfully, the extension of the Farm Bill provides us some certainty and we know financial institutions value that certainty.”
FSA has noted 2013 DCP and ACRE program provisions are unchanged from 2012, except that all eligible participants in 2013 may choose to enroll in either DCP or ACRE for the 2013 crop year. This means that eligible producers who were enrolled in ACRE in 2012 may elect to enroll in DCP or may re-enroll in ACRE (and vice versa).
Veach noted the one-year extension of the Farm Bill, and the stability it provides, should demonstrate to Congress the need to push forward with a new five-year program that provides the needed structure for farm and ranch families to make long-range plans for their businesses.
“For the long-term health of our farm businesses, we must take a long-term view,” he said. “Farmers cannot afford to wait until September for action on the next Farm Bill.
“We are depending on our members of Congress to bring this important issue forward, so that our country’s ability to deliver food, fiber and shelter to the world is not diminished. We must have a Farm Bill that works for all of agriculture, and ensures commodity and regional differences are reflected in a meaningful way.
“We have a food production system that is the envy of the world, and it is due to the ingenuity and persistence of the American farmer and rancher, and the stability that government programs provide.”
Arkansas Farm Bureau is a nonprofit, private advocacy
organization of more than 200,000 families throughout the state working
to improve farm and rural life.
For more information contact:
Box 31, Little Rock 72203