James Pease, Professor, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech
Although FSA has extended the deadline for commodity program base acreage reallocation and payment yield updates to March 31 for farm landowners, the agency has held firm to the March 31 deadline for producers to choose among ARC-county, PLC, or ARC-farm programs. If the landowner simply does not act by March 31, then covered commodity base acres and payment yields on the FSA farm will remain at their current values throughout 2014-2018.
However, this inaction creates a problem for some producers. The base reallocation and/or yield update landowner choice must be completed prior to the producer choice of program. If the landowner doesn’t act by March 31, the producer has no time to choose a desired commodity program. Without base reallocation/yield update actions by the landowner (either to retain or reallocate/update), producers will not be able to make a program choice, and will find themselves assigned to the no-action program choice – Price Loss Coverage for 2015-2018, with no 2014 payments. The payment consequences for producers are most obvious for crops such as soybeans, for which virtually no one has forecast a marketing-year average price below the Reference Price of $8.40 throughout 2014-2018. Producers should do whatever they can to ensure landowner base acre and yield update choices are recorded with FSA as quickly as possible.