Estimated 2014 ARC County Payments

Farmers throughout the nation are deciding which of the new farm programs to take. Another piece of that puzzle was put into place when USDA released the county wide corn and soybean yields late last month. These can be used to estimate some of the 2014 farm program payments.

County wide yields as calculated by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service along with the estimated season's average cash price - the marketing year average - can be used to forward figure 2014 ARC County payments. It is possible therefore to know
a lot, if not everything, about the first potential crop year farm program payments before any farmer ever signs up for the safety net says University of Illinois Ag Economist Gary Schnitkey.

ARC County makes payments to farmers when revenue falls below a bench mark. It is calculated using county wide yields and a marketing year average price. Both are available and can be used to make estimates. The Marketing Year Average price won't be finalized until the fall. It is projected, however, each month in USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report (WASDE).

The mid-point for corn is $3.65, but this could vary up or down. Using the county yields, it is possible to project fairly large ARC County corn payments for farms from New York and Ohio through Indiana, northern Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and into the Dakota's.

Some of these areas may even receive the maximum payment from ARC County.

Other areas may not get a 2014 ARC County payment for corn. These include central and southern Illinois, parts of Missouri, eastern Kansas and southern Indiana. Only a few counties around the nation will receive an ARC County soybean payment.

These are found in Iowa, Wisconsin, eastern Ohio, and New York. Does it change anything as it relates to the ARC County vs PLC farm program decision? Not likely, but the only way to really tell is to run the numbers. That can be done using the online Farm Bill Toolbox and USDA's APAS website.