Corn and soybean growers have until June 3 to decide whether they will participate in the Average Crop Revenue Election plan or continue with the regular Direct and Counter-Cyclical Payment Program. Both programs, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency, are intended to help protect farm revenues. In 2012, 16% of Indiana's eligible land was enrolled in ACRE.
Under DCP, there are two types of payments: direct and counter-cyclical. Each is calculated using base acres and payment yields established on individual farms. But DCP only protects against low prices, and added farm payments under DCP would not start unless the U.S. average farm price for the 2013 corn crop dropped below $2.35/bu. and soybeans below $5.56/bu.
Producers who choose ACRE could receive revenue-based payments instead of the price-based counter-cyclical payments under DCP. Revenue-based means that either low prices or low yields could trigger payments. ACRE participants are still eligible for 80% of their normal direct payments.
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"ACRE can provide large payments if yields or prices should be very low," Purdue Extension agricultural economist Chris Hurt says. "Thus, it can provide considerable protection under low-revenue situations."
For example, if Indiana corn yields are near normal, ACRE payments would kick in if the U.S. average farm price drops to about $4.50/bu., or lower. If the price drops to $4/bu., ACRE payments could be near $70/acre.
With near-normal soybean yields, ACRE payments could begin if the U.S. average farm price drops below about $11.75/bu. If farm prices dropped to $10/bu., ACRE payments would be about $50/acre.
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