Nathan Smith and Don Shurley
Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics
University of Georgia
Under the 2014 Farm Bill, landowners will have a 1-time opportunity to reallocate bases and update payment yields of “covered commodities” on a farm. This includes all major row crops in Georgia, excluding cotton.
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) sent out letters to farmers and landowners on July 28 notifying them of their planted and considered planted acreage history from 2008 to 2012. The Summary Acreage History Report show’s a farm’s base acres, counter-cyclical yields, and 2008-2012 planted, prevented, double-crop, and subsequent acres (acres planted after failed or prevented). This FSA acreage history for a farm is important and will be the basis for making base reallocation decisions. Farm owners or operators need to cross check with farm records that the planted and considered planted acreage recorded by FSA is correct. If the information is correct no further action is needed at this time, but if any information appears to be incomplete or incorrect, contact your local FSA office before September 26. For example, planted acreage on a tract in a particular year may not have been reported or possibly miscoded resulting in missing or fewer acres than were actually planted and prevented planted to a crop.
The letter states that there is a 60 day deadline for reviewing the planting history. This is NOT a 60-day deadline for making the base reallocation/update decision. Within the 60-day period, farmers and landowners must only review the planted acreage history (found on the back of the letter) for accuracy. If there is any discrepancy or question about the acreage history, contact the local FSA office before the deadline by phone or in person to let them know you want to review the acreage history.
Landowners will have a 1-time opportunity to update payment yields (to be used for PLC payment if PLC is elected). The updated yield, if elected, would be 90% of the Olympic Average yield for 2008-2012 for the crop on the farm. It is expected that the opportunity for both base reallocation and yield update will be announced by FSA within the next several weeks with a likely decision deadline by the end of December. The deadline could be sooner or later, this is only a guess.
Price Loss Coverage (PLC) or Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) Program signup (a 1-time election by the producer for PLC or ARC by crop on a farm) is expected to occur in late 2014 or early 2015 with a likely end of February decision deadline. All operators on a farm have to agree on program election.
Cotton producers may choose between STAX or SCO for cotton for the 2015 crop through a crop insurance agent. Participation in the STAX or SCO program is optional and the decision is made on a year-to-year basis. It is expected that the signup for STAX or SCO will have to be made by the normal sales closing date which is February 28.