March 15 Deadline to Complete Election & Enrollment for 2021 Agriculture Risk Coverage, Price Loss Coverage Programs

Agricultural producers in Nebraska who have not yet elected and enrolled in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for 2021 have until March 15.

Producers who have not signed a contract or who want to make an election change should contact their local U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Service Center to make an appointment. Right now, about 87% of the Nebraska farms expected to participate have completed the enrollment process.

“In times like these, from winter storms to a pandemic, we’re reminded of the importance of managing risk,” said Tim Divis, acting state executive director for USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Nebraska. “The Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs provide critical support to farmers to protect them from substantial drops in crop prices or revenues. If you have not enrolled or made elections, please do so by the March 15 deadline.”

Producers who enrolled for the 2019 crop year received more than $5 billion nationwide in payments last fall. If an ARC or PLC payment triggers for a particular crop for the 2021 crop year, and there is no signed 2021 contract on file, then the producer is ineligible for that program payment.

Producers are eligible to enroll farms with base acres for the following commodities: barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium- and short-grain rice, safflower seed, seed cotton, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat.

Decision Tools

To help producers make elections, FSA makes program data available to help producers make ARC and PLC decisions.

Additionally, USDA partnered with universities to offer web-based decision tools:

  • Gardner-farmdoc Payment Calculator, the University of Illinois tool that offers farmers the ability to run payment estimates modeling for their farms and counties for ARC-County and PLC.
  • ARC and PLC Decision Tool, the Texas A&M tool that allows producers to analyze payment yield updates and expected payments for 2019 and 2020.

Crop Insurance Considerations

Producers are reminded that enrolling in ARC or PLC programs can impact eligibility for some crop insurance products offered by USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA). Producers who elect and enroll in PLC also have the option of purchasing Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) through their Approved Insurance Provider, but producers of covered commodities who elect ARC are ineligible for SCO on their planted acres.

Unlike SCO, RMA’s Enhanced Coverage Option (ECO) is unaffected by participating in ARC for the same crop, on the same acres. You may elect ECO regardless of your farm program election.

Upland cotton farmers who choose to enroll seed cotton base acres in ARC or PLC are ineligible for the stacked income protection plan, or STAX, on their planted cotton acres.

More Information

For more information on ARC and PLC, visit farmers.gov/arc-plc. The University of Nebraska Lincoln also has informational videos associated with the ARC/PLC decision-making process at these links: UNL/FSA farm program and ag policy update video and Making Farm Program and Crop Insurance Decisions for 2021.

While USDA offices are closed to visitors because of the pandemic, Service Center staff continue to work with agricultural producers via phone, email, and other digital tools. To conduct business, please contact your local USDA Service Center. Additionally, more information related to USDA’s response and relief for producers can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

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