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Wisconsin economist urges producers to consider ARC and PLC options now

An ag economist says it’s time to choose between the Ag Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs for the 2020 crop year.  Paul Mitchell with the University of Wisconsin tells Brownfield the price expectations relative to the new reference prices in PLC make that program more valuable this time around.

In Wisconsin, Mitchell says the new Farm Bill and its guidelines for ARC and PLC make some decisions easy this year. “Corn? Sign up for PLC. It works for every county in the state. Soybeans? You’ve got to look at the tool a little bit and play with your county. It depends on your yields and which county you’re in, but a lot of counties, it will be ARC but some people will find PLC (works best), especially if you have high yields in your soybeans, (then) PLC will tend to be a better tool.”

Mitchell says the new Farm Bill changed target prices and contract periods. “The last time around, you signed up for five years and we encouraged everyone to sign up for ARC and 95% of the U.S. corn and soybean farmers signed up for ARC. This time around, there’s a lot more thinking to do. The PLC is a better deal for corn and wheat especially, some other crops as well.”

And, he says some producers will want to look at other less-popular risk management options. “The other thing is, ARC-IC is out there, individual coverage. Nobody signed up for it last time, almost, in this state. This time around, actually, it will be valuable for some people.”

The deadline for farmers to sign up for ARC and PLC is March 15th.  Mitchell says producers can be in and out of their local FSA office quickly with a little preparation. He says even if producers don’t sign up for PLC, they should update their yield information while they can because not every farm bill allows updates and that information might be beneficial in future years.

Mitchell has put together online materials including videos to help farmers use the Gardner Calculator from the University of Illinois and the Kansas State University Extension ARC & PLC website decision tools.

Mitchell spoke to Brownfield at the recent Wisconsin Agri-Business Association Conference in Madison.

University of Wisconsin Ag Economist Paul Mitchell discusses ARC and PLC with Brownfield’s Larry Lee

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