By Adam Kantrovich
The Agricultural Act of 2014 – commonly called 2014 Farm Bill – that was signed in early 2014 is quite different from what farmers and landowners were accustomed to in former farm bills. Although there may be similarities to past farm bills, it is very important that farmers begin to learn as much as they can before deciding on what program is best suited for their current situation.
Each farm location and each farmer’s individual needs are very different, therefore choosing which programs are a good fit will depend on farm specific variables and individual needs. With this in mind, Michigan State University Extension has developed numerous resources to assist farmers and landowners to begin this process.
The Michigan State University Extension Farm Information Resource Management (FIRM) team in collaboration with the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) with numerous sponsors that include the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan, The Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee, the Michigan Wheat Program, GreenStone Farm Credit Services, and Farm Bureau Crop Insurance has engaged in a statewide effort to provide Farm Bill Title I Educational Programming.
The program is a multifaceted event discussing the provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill Title I programs. Presentations will describe Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) choices and discuss yield and base updating. The profit and risk management implications of alternative choices will be explored under a range of assumptions including historical yields relative to county yields and alternative price scenarios. The decision support tools used in the analysis are available as Excel files from MSU Extension and web-based tools that can be accessed from the FarmDoc and FSA/USDA websites.
At the conclusion of the program, time is offered for participants to engage with Michigan State University Extension FIRM team members and FSA representatives in a question and answer session to help better understand the information.
To view where programs are taking place and to register for an event, interested participants may go to the following link http://events.anr.msu.edu/FarmBill1415/
It is encouraged to occasionally revisit the link to see if any additional locations and dates have been added. The Michigan State University Extension FIRM team has also developed a Farm Bill Program page that contains links to additional material, information and resources. Check back often to view any new or revised information and material as further details become known. Individuals may also sign-up to receive newsletters that will contain information about articles, updates, and additional information about the Farm Bill and other farm related policies.