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March 15 is deadline to enroll in Commodity Safety Net programs  

WASHINGTON — Agricultural producers who have not yet enrolled in the Agriculture Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage programs for the 2022 crop year have until March 15 to sign a contract.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers these two safety net programs to provide vital income support to farmers experiencing substantial declines in crop prices or revenues.  

“The Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs provide critical financial protections to many American farmers. As producers continue to weather a bruising pandemic and new, climate-induced disasters, these programs are all the more important,” said Zach Ducheneaux, Administrator of USDA’s Farm Service Agency. “I am encouraging producers to reach out to their county offices to learn about program eligibility and election options today, so that they can begin the enrollment process as soon as possible.”  

 Producers can elect coverage and enroll in ARC-County or PLC, which are both crop-by-crop, or ARC-Individual, which is for the entire farm. Although election changes for 2022 are optional, producers must enroll through a signed contract each year.

Also, if a producer has a multi-year contract on the farm and makes an election change for 2022, it will be necessary to sign a new contract. If an election is not submitted by the March 15, 2022, deadline, the election remains the same as the 2021 election for crops on the farm. 

Farm owners cannot enroll in either program unless they have a share interest in the crop.     

Producers who do not complete enrollment by the deadline will not be enrolled in ARC or PLC for the 2022 crop year and will not receive a payment if triggered.    

Producers are eligible to enroll farms with base acres for the following commodities: barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium and short grain rice, safflower seed, seed cotton, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat.

ARC and PLC are part of a broader safety net provided by USDA, which also includes crop insurance and marketing assistance loans.  

Producers should contact their crop insurance agent to make certain that the election and enrollment made at FSA follows their intention to participate in STAX or SCO coverage. Producers have until March 15, 2022, to make the appropriate changes or cancel their ARC or PLC contract.   

March 15 is also the deadline for the Pandemic Cover Crop program. The Dairy Margin Coverage program deadline is March 25.

For more information on ARC and PLC, producers can visit https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/arcplc_program/index or contact their local USDA Service Center.

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