Farmers expecting USDA farm program payments for commodity crops should see that money show up in their bank accounts by the end of the week.
USDA’s Farm Service Agency offices will start sending out roughly $3.9 billion in Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage checks Monday.
“Payments will begin going out today,” USDA Farm Service Agency Chief Val Dolcini told DTN. He said his office did a computer run of about $3.9 billion in checks to FSA offices Friday.
The ARC-PLC payments will be 6.8% lower than farmers might have expected because of the federal budget cuts known as sequester.
As of Friday, about 800,000 farmers were enrolled in ARC or PLC and can expect payments. Those payments, however, will vary depending on the base acres for farms and the program producers selected for those crops.
About 76% of farms and crop acreage is enrolled in ARC-County — led heavily by corn and soybean acres. About 23% are in PLC, which is dominated by crops such as rice and peanuts. Another 1% of farms enrolled in the ARC-Individual program.
“We have been waiting for this day for a while now,” Dolcini said. “We want to make sure all farmers and all of our customers know what is happening today and this week.
“We anticipate payments will be made without further delay.”
There had been some grumbling earlier this month from lawmakers when checks did not go out immediately at the beginning of October. USDA, however, had to make extensive computer program changes to convert from previous farm bill programs to ARC-PLC.
USDA cautioned that producers’ program checks and the possibility of payments could change every year. Unlike the old direct payment program, ARC-PLC payments will shift year-to-year based on price and other market conditions.