PLC and ARC enrollment now open for 2021

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) has opened enrollment for the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) programs for crop year 2021. Starting this year, farmers have the option to annually select which program to enroll in on a crop-by-crop basis for PLC or ARC-CO. Selecting ARC-Individual requires the whole farm to be enrolled in that program.

The ARC-CO program provides income support tied to historical base acres, not current production, of covered commodities. ARC-CO payments are issued when the actual county crop revenue of a covered commodity is less than the ARC-CO guarantee for the covered commodity.

ARC-IC payment based on individual farm revenue and not county numbers.
PLC program payments are issued when the effective price of a covered commodity is less than the respective reference price for that commodity. The effective price equals the higher of the market year average price (MYA) or the national average loan rate for the covered commodity.

"Although commodity prices are starting to show a glimmer of improvement, recent depressed prices and drops in revenue compounded by the effects of the pandemic have seriously impacted the bottom line for most agricultural operations," said Richard Fordyce, Administrator of USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA). "Through safety-net programs like ARC and PLC, we can help producers mitigate these financial stressors and keep the ag industry moving forward. Make time over the next few months to evaluate your program elections and enroll for the 2021 crop year."

According to USDA, if an election is not submitted by the deadline of March 15, 2021, the election defaults to the current election for crops on the farm from the prior crop year.

"These farm safety net programs are vital to the economic health of many farms given the prolonged period of low rice prices," said Nicole Montna Van Vleck, California rice farmer. "While we don't want to rely on these programs, we're appreciative for the support they provide when needed."

USDA has begun issuing payments for the 2019 crop year. Southern medium and long grain rice farms should expect to begin to receive assistance next month.

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