The Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) Program was implemented by USDA for the 2009 crop year, as part of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the new farm bill). In 2010, eligible farm operators will again have the option to enroll in the ACRE Program, until June 1, 2010, as an alternative to the current Counter-Cyclical Payment (CCP) Program. The ACRE Program offers the potential of revenue-based payments, based on yield and price, as compared to current price-only CCP calculations. The official ACRE program information is available at county Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices.

Producers who enrolled in ACRE for the 2009 crop year are automatically enrolled in ACRE for 2010, 2011 and 2012 when they annually sign up for the farm program at county FSA offices. Other producers can enroll in ACRE for 2010 when they sign up for the 2010 farm program at anytime until June 1, 2010. Producers may sign-up for the 2010 Direct and Counter-Cyclical (DCP) Program at any time at their county FSA office, and wait until a later date – up until June1 – to decide on enrollment in the ACRE Program. Only about 8% of crop producers nationwide, and about 13% of the total eligible acres, were enrolled in ACRE for the 2009 crop year.

ACRE enrollment does require a signature from landlords on cash rental farm units. Producers are encouraged to analyze situations and scenarios that are more favorable for ACRE enrollment for 2010, as well as situations where the best option may be continuing with the traditional DCP farm program. To receive copies of updated ACRE program information and a listing of Web Sites with good ACRE information, please contact Kent Thiesse at: kent.thiesse@minnstarbank.com

2009 ACRE Payment Potential
Following is a summary of the potential for ACRE payments for 2009 corn, soybeans and wheat in Minnesota as of March 1, 2010:

  • CORN: The 2009 ACRE benchmark state yield for corn in Minnesota was 161 bu./acre, and the estimated NASS benchmark price was $4.13/bu., resulting in an estimated statewide ACRE revenue guarantee for 2009 of $598.44/acre (161 bu./A x $4.13/bu. x 0.90 = $598.44/A). According to the latest projections, USDA is estimating the 2009 statewide corn yield at 174 bu./acre, and the 12-month national average corn market price for 2009 at $3.60/bu. Based on the current USDA numbers, there would not be a 2009 ACRE payment for corn in Minnesota. The 2009 national average corn price would need to drop to $3.43/bu. or lower, in order to trigger a 2009 ACRE payment.
  • SOYBEANS: The 2009 ACRE benchmark state yield for soybeans in Minnesota was 41 bu./acre and the estimated NASS benchmark price was $10.04/bu., resulting in an estimated statewide ACRE revenue guarantee of $370.48/acre (41 bu./A x $10.04/bu. x 0.90 = $370.48/A). According to the latest USDA projections, the estimated 2009 statewide soybean yield was 40 bu./acre and the 12-month national average soybean price for 2009 is estimated at $9.45/bu. Based on the current USDA numbers, there would not be a 2009 ACRE payment for soybeans in Minnesota. The 2009 national average soybean price would need to drop to $9.26/bu. or lower, in order to trigger a 2009 ACRE payment.

  • WHEAT: The 2009 ACRE benchmark state yield for wheat in Minnesota was 49.9 bu./acre and the estimated NASS benchmark price was $6.63/bu., resulting in an estimated statewide ACRE revenue guarantee of $297.75/acre (49.9 bu./A x $6.63/bu. x 0.90 = $297.75/A). According to the latest USDA projections, the estimated 12-month national average wheat price for 2009 is $4.90/bu. Based on those projections, the estimated 2009 ACRE payment for wheat in Minnesota would be approximately $31.93/eligible wheat base acre, plus any additional payment for farm-level average yields that exceed state benchmark yields. Any potential ACRE payments for wheat will not occur until after July 1, 2010.

Editor’s note: Kent Thiesse is a former University of Minnesota Extension educator and now is Vice President of MinnStar Bank, Lake Crystal, MN. You can contact him at 507-726-2137 or via e-mail at kent.thiesse@minnstarbank.com.