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Gary Schnitkey on the ARC/PLC Decision

Farmers will be making two government program decisions on or before March 15th. What to do about crop insurance is one of them. The other is to enroll in the updated farm safety net programs.

The 2018 Farm Bill included some changes that require farmer to do a couple of things. First, they'll want to update their yields with FSA, if and only if the current set is higher than those already on record. Second, a decision must be made about which farm safety net to use for the crop harvest last year, and the one that will be harvested this year. Gary Schnitkey from the University of Illinois has some advice, "If you have a farm that is complete Prevent Plant, I think you are going to want to do ARC-IC. One FSA farm. If they are yielding at all, you'll probably lean to PLC for corn, ARC-CO for soybeans and PLC for wheat".

You may learn more about ARC-IC on the farmdoc website. ILLINOIS has developed a set of tools farmers can use to help them make the best possible ARC/PLC decision no matter where they live. It includes, says Schnitkey, a calculator that runs on a super-computer, "The calculators are online. The Gardner ARC/PLC tool will allow you to look at the probabilities of these things making payments. Again, corn is not likely to make payments in 2019. Soybeans similarly. Wheat will make a PLC payment for 2019. So, you can look at the Gardner ARC County / PLC calculator for that. There is a 2018 Farm Bill Tool that is a Microsoft Excel speadsheet and you can use that to look at different prices and yields to see what ARC-County, ARC-IC, and PLC will do in those situations".

The ARC/PLC safety net decision is due to be made at the Farm Service Agency office by March 15th. The ARC/PLC calculators are online at