By Nichole Gouldie, Communications SpecialistAfter two years, the 2014 Farm Bill became a law on February 7. Also known as the Agricultural Act of 2014, the law is wide ranging but a common question on many farmers’ minds is how the new Farm Bill will affect their crop insurance coverage.
Recently, Team Marketing Alliance (TMA) hosted informational meetings for producers about how the farm bill actually affects the farm. With guest speaker, Kane Adams, regional marketing manager for Diversified Crop Insurance Services, TMA shared how they have the tools to help producers make an educated decision related to crop insurance included in the 2014 Farm Bill.
“Like TMA always does, they will work from your farm's history to determine your crop insurance needs,” Adams said. “It isn’t a one-size fits all approach.”
Effective for 2014, direct payments, the counter-cyclical payment program, ACRE program and the Sure Crop Disaster program will be eliminated.
“The 2014 Farm Bill’s commodity title requires producers to make an important decision related to crop insurance, whether to sign-up for one of two versions of the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) program or the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program,” Adams said.
The decision is made for each farm enrolled with the Farm Service Agency. The choice of program is a one-time decision to be made by a deadline not set currently. Adams estimates this sign-up not to be until late fall-winter or early 2015. “The decision cannot be changed during the five-year life of the 2014 Farm Bill”, Adams said. “This is why it is very important for all TMA customers to work with their crop insurance specialist to make an educated decision about the two programs that is best for their operation.”
For producers just now learning about these crop insurance coverage options, TMA Crop Insurance Specialist Danny Flynn says the positive is you don’t have to make a decision today about the programs. “We have some time to make the decision and TMA has the tools and knowledge to help you make this decision.”
To learn specifically about the ARC and PLC programs, click here.
Kane noted while federal crop insurance saw an increase in the budget of $6 billion, most areas of the farm bill were cut in dollars. The budget was reduced by $23 billion total with cuts of $9 billion in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commodity programs reduced by $14 billion and conservation lost $4 billion. He also commented food stamps and nutrition are nearly 80 percent of the 2014 budget.
Josh Roe, economist with the Kansas Department of Agriculture, has shared an overview of the 2014 Farm Bill and some of the impacts the bill will have. Click here for a fact sheet about the 2014 Farm Bill and here for a summary and impact of the bill put together by Josh Roe.
To learn more about crop insurance coverage or the 2014 Farm Bill, contact a TMA crop insurance specialist today.