USDA Farm Service Agency Announces Key Dates for New 2014 Farm Bill Safety Net Programs

Farmers can Update Yield History and/or Reallocate Base Acres through Feb. 27, 2015;
Producers Select the Safety Net Program Best for Their Operation Beginning Nov. 17, 2014 through March 31, 2015


WASHINGTON, Oct. 2, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing key dates for farm owners and producers to keep in mind regarding the new 2014 Farm Bill established programs, Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC). The new programs, designed to help producers better manage risk, usher in one of the most significant reforms to U.S. farm programs in decades.


“The ARC and PLC programs are a significant reform in the farm safety net,” said Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini. “FSA wants to keep producers well informed on all steps in the process. We will continue our outreach efforts and maintain resources online to help them understand the new programs before they come in to make decisions for their operations.”


Dates associated with ARC and PLC that farm owners and producers need to know:
  • Sept. 29, 2014 to Feb. 27, 2015: Land owners may visit their local Farm Service Agency office to update yield history and/or reallocate base acres.
  • Nov. 17, 2014 to March 31, 2015: Producers make a one-time election of either ARC or PLC for the 2014 through 2018 crop years.
  • Mid-April 2015 through summer 2015: Producers sign contracts for 2014 and 2015 crop years.
  • October 2015: Payments for 2014 crop year, if needed.
USDA leaders will visit with producers across the country to share information and answer questions on the ARC and PLC programs.


USDA helped create online tools to assist in the decision process, allowing farm owners and producers to enter information about their operation and see projections that show what ARC and/or PLC will mean for them under possible future scenarios. The new tools are now available at Farm owners and producers can access the online resources from the convenience of their home computer or mobile device at any time. USDA provided $3 million to the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri and the Agricultural and Food Policy Center (AFPC) at Texas A&M (co-leads for the National Association of Agricultural and Food Policy), along with the University of Illinois (lead for the National Coalition for Producer Education) to develop these online tools.


Covered commodities 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 rice), safflower seed, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. Upland cotton is no longer a covered commodity.

Today’s announcement was made possible through the 2014 Farm Bill, which builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for the taxpayer. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit

Sept. 29, 2014 to Feb. 27, 2015
Nov. 17, 2014 to March 31, 2015
Mid-April through Summer 2015
October 2015
Land owners make base reallocation/yield updates
Producers make election between ARC/PLC
Producers sign contracts for 2014 and 2015 crop years
Payments for 2014 crop year, if needed

Ag Decision Maker (AgDM) 

An agricultural economics and business website.

Worksheet Helps Producers Identify Selections for 2014 Farm Bill

The Agricultural Act of 2014 is important legislation. It provides farmland owners and operators the opportunity to make a one-time election of a commodity program for 2014 through 2018. The legislation also allows the operator to enroll annually in a chosen program. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach provides several resources to assist in this decision-making process.

“While the Farm Bill of 2014 provides opportunities for farmers to update their farm selections, it is important that they consider several factors before making these decisions,” said Ann Johanns, extension program specialist. Johanns coordinates Ag Decision Maker, an agricultural economics and business website sponsored by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

“We have developed several tools, including the Base Acreage Reallocation and Payment Yield Update, to assist owners and operators as they determine what is best for their business and family,” Johanns said.

Alejandro Plastina, an extension economist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, developed the Base Acreage Reallocation and Payment Yield Update.

“Opportunities to update base acres and payment yields for commodity programs are few and far between,” Plastina said. “So farmers should seriously consider this opportunity provided by the 2014 Farm Bill.”

“The worksheet is a simple tool to evaluate the convenience of having the payment formulas for some commodity programs updated to better reflect current production patterns on a farm-by-farm basis,” Plastina added. He noted that the decision tool includes multiple worksheets to allow information for up to five farms.

The Base Acreage Reallocation and Payment Yield Update worksheet was designed to help Iowa farmland owners with base acreage reallocation decisions for the Agricultural Risk Coverage-County (ARC-CO) program and the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program, and with payment yield update decisions for the PLC program. To access this and other online tools, go to

To further support producers, a series of workshops will be held across Iowa to provide information about the Farm Bill and the impact it has on producers. The meetings will be held once final regulations are set. A complete schedule will be posted on the AgDM Farm Bill Web page at

Ag Decision Maker (AgDM) 

An agricultural economics and business website.

2011 SURE payment sign-up begins October 22nd, 2012

Contributed by Steve Johnson, Extension Farm Management Field Specialist,

If you think you’re eligible for USDA’s 2011 Supplement Revenue (SURE) Assistance program payment, sign-up begins October 22, 2012.

SURE provides benefits based on farm revenue losses due to natural disasters. Producers who suffered a production loss in the 2011 crop year are encouraged to visit their local FSA office to learn more about the SURE program and how to apply.

The SURE program covers crop losses incurred from disasters in 2011, the amount not covered by crop insurance.

A farm or ranch must have:

1) at least a 10 percent production loss on a crop of economic significance
2) insured all economically significant crops
3) been physically located in a county that was declared a primary disaster country or contiguous county by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture under a Secretarial Designation

Without a Secretarial Disaster Designation, individual producers may be eligible if the actual production on the farm is less than 50 percent of the normal farm production, due to a natural disaster.

In Iowa, eligible counties for the potential 2011 SURE payment that were either primary or contiguous counties are:

Primary: Clarke, Davis, Decatur, Fremont, Harrison, Henry, Jefferson, Jones, Keokuk, Lee, Linn, Louisa, Lucas, Mahaska, Marshall, Mills, Mitchell, Monona, Monroe, Montgomery, Page, Polk, Pottawattamie, Tama, Taylor, Van Buren, Wapello, Washington, Wayne, Woodbury

Contiguous: Adams, Appanoose, Benton, Black Hawk, Boone, Buchanan, Cass, Cedar, Cerro Gordo, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Clinton, Crawford, Dallas, Delaware, Des Moines, Dubuque, Floyd, Grundy, Hardin, Howard, Ida, Iowa, Jackson, Jasper, Johnson, Madison, Marion, Muscatine, Plymouth, Poweshiek, Ringgold, Scott, Shelby, Story, Union, Warren, Worth

More on SURE is available in AgDM Information File A1-44, including information on counties designated as disaster counties in 2011. If you have specific questions or need details regarding USDA farm programs including SURE, contact your local USDA Farm Service Agency office. Get news and information about SURE and other USDA programs at

Ag Decision Maker (AgDM)

An agricultural economics and business website.

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