The United States Department of Agriculture announced Friday that it would issue $4.8 billion in farm safety net and conservation payments.
The 2014 Farm Bill expired Oct. 1, but U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said Friday the USDA would move forward with payments to American farmers. The bulk of the money will be distributed through the Farm Service Agency’s Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs, which were authorized through the 2014 Farm Bill.
“Despite a temporary lapse of Farm Bill authorities, farmers and ranchers can rest assured that USDA continues to work within the letter of the law to deliver much-needed farm safety net, conservation, disaster recovery and trade assistance program payments,” Perdue said in a release.
The ARC and PLC are a part of the farm safety net, which assists farmers when they see a drop in revenue or prices for their covered commodities.
Approximately $3 billion will be paid under ARC and PLC for the 2017 crop year, while another $1.8 billion will go out for rental payments under the Conservation Reserve Program.
“These program payments are mandated by Congress, but the department has taken measures to ensure we meet our deadlines and get capital in the hands of those folks that need it most,” Perdue said in a release. “Unfortunately, 2018 has proven to be another tough year for producers across the Nation, making the timeliness even more critical. Our resilient farmers, ranchers and producers are battling more hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, floods, and even lava flows.”
PLC payments have triggered for 2017 barley, canola, corn, grain sorghum, wheat and other crops. In the next few months, payments will be triggered for rice, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, flaxseed, mustard seed, rapeseed, safflower, crambe, and sesame seed. Producers with bases enrolled in ARC for 2017 crops can visit www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc for updated crop yields, prices, revenue and payment rates.