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New tool calculates farm bill payments

By Staff | Oct 8, 2015

Alejandro Plastina

AMES – Three new resources have been developed by Iowa State University Extension to help Iowa corn and soybean producers calculate Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage payments for the 2014 and 2015 crop years. Posted on Ag Decision Maker, these tools will help farmers who enroll in these programs from the 2014 Farm Bill calculate the amount of the government payment if prices or county revenues are down.

“Both the ARC and PLC payments depend on the marketing year average prices for commodities such as barley, corn, grain sorghum, oats, soybeans, and wheat.” said Alejandro Plastina, assistant professor and extension economics specialist with Iowa State University.

For corn and soybeans, the official 2014 MYA price will be announced by U.S. Department of Agriculture in early September 2015. Until then, the actual amount of these payments will be unknown,” Plastina said. “However, using county yields and price projections published by USDA, these payments for the 2014 and 2015 crop years can be reasonably projected by the new calculation tools.” The projected prices used in the ARC and PLC payment calculators will be updated monthly.

The ARC program is based on county revenues and acts like a type of insurance for crop producers. When yields fall below a certain level, farmers who have selected this coverage, are paid the slight difference.

PLC payments offer protection when the actual crop price drops below its reference price for that commodity set in the 2014 Farm Bill. PLC payments occur if the MYA price is lower than the reference price: $3.70 per bushel of corn, and $8.40 per bushel of soybeans.

“If ARC and PLC payments are triggered for the 2014 crop year, they will be issued after the end of the marketing year when USDA announces the official MYA price, but not before Oct. 1, 2015,” said Plastina. “The 2015 crop year ARC and PLC payments won’t be verified until the fall of 2016.”

For details on the calculation tools, USDA base acres and program payment yields, see the online Ag Decision Maker articles New ARC-CO and PLC Spreadsheets Calculate Projected Payments and New Safety Net: PLC, ARC-CO, ARC-IC.

To download the new spreadsheet tools PLC Payment Calculator, ARC-CO 2014 Payment Calculator and ARC-CO 2015 Payment Calculator, go to the complete list of Decision Tools on the Ag Decision Maker website.

In order to use the calculators, your computer will need to have Microsoft Office Suite and the Excel program.

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