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2018 ARC/PLC enrollment period continues

• Mar 3, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Farmers with base acres in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) safety net program can visit FSA county offices to sign contracts and enroll for the 2018 crop year.

The enrollment period will end on Aug. 1. Since shares and ownership of a farm can change year-to- year, producers must enroll by signing a contract each program year. The producers on a farm that are not enrolled for the 2018 enrollment period will not be eligible for financial assistance from the ARC or PLC programs for the 2018 crop should crop prices or farm revenues fall below the historical price or revenue benchmarks established by the program.

Producers who made their elections in previous years must still enroll during the 2018 enrollment period. The ARC and PLC programs were authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and offer a safety net to agricultural producers when there is a substantial drop in prices or revenues for covered commodities. Covered commodities include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, dry peas, rapeseed, safflower seed, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat.

In other news...

Communication is key in lending: Farm Service Agency (FSA) is committed to providing our farm loan borrowers the tools necessary to be a success. A part of ensuring this success is providing guidance and counsel from the loan application process through the borrower’s graduation to commercial lending institutions. While it is FSA’s commitment to advise borrowers as they identify goals and evaluate progress, it is crucial for borrowers to communicate with their farm loan staff when changes occur. It is the borrower’s responsibility to alert FSA to any of the following: Any proposed or significant changes in the farming operation; Any significant changes to family income or expenses; The development of problem situations; Any losses or proposed significant changes in security. In addition, if a farm loan borrower cannot make payments to suppliers, other creditors, or FSA on time, contact your farm loan staff immediately to discuss loan servicing options.

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Microloans available, helping farmers purchase farmland: Beginning and under-served farmers, have a new option to gain access to land. The FSA offers farm ownership microloans, creating a new financing avenue for farmers to buy and improve property. These microloans will be especially helpful to beginning or underserved farmers, U.S. veterans looking for a career in farming, and those who have small and mid-sized farming operations. Microloans have helped farmers with operating costs, such as feed, fertilizer, tools, fencing, equipment, and living expenses since 2013. Now, microloans will be available to also help with farm land and building purchases, and soil and water conservation improvements.

FSA designed the expanded program to simplify the application process, expand eligibility requirements and expedite smaller real estate loans to help farmers strengthen their operations. Microloans provide up to $50,000 to qualified producers, and can be issued to the applicant directly from the FSA. Individuals interested in applying for a FSA microloan or would like to discuss other farm loan programs available, should contact their local FSA office to setup an appointment with a loan approval official.

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