2014 Farm Bill Close Up

2014-USDA-Farm-Bill

Today I’ve interviewed Kevin McClure, a Production Adjustment Specialist with the Farm Service Agency with regards to the 2014 Farm Bill as our leadup continues to the Second Annual Iowa Women’s Landowner Conference on June 19, 2014. Mr. McClure has an extensive history with the agency, agriculture and helping producers. He will be speaking from 1:50 to 2:40 P.M., so make plans to come to the conference for more information!

I understand that your presentation is “Agriculture Risk Coverage & Price Loss Coverage in the 2014 Farm Bill.” Can you tell me a little more about high points of the new farm bill, what makes it different from the previous one and how it can benefit farmers?

The 2008 Farm Bill provided producers with two program options where an election was required the first year. Both options, Direct & Counter-Cyclical Payment program (DCP) and Average Crop Revenue Election program (ACRE), provided direct payments that were not dependent on national market prices. The DCP program also offered Counter-Cyclical payments that were subject to lower national market prices. The ACRE program offered a “new” revenue based payment where 5 year Olympic Benchmark Revenues were calculated and compared to “Actual” year revenues. This was the first time a “revenue” based program was offered.

The 2014 Farm Bill removed direct payments and offers three programs where producers must elect one in 2014 that will remain in effect through 2018. The first program is called Price Loss Coverage, PLC, that is similar to Counter-Cyclical payments under the previous DCP program. The other two programs, Agricultural Risk Coverage-County (ARC-CO) and Agricultural Risk Coverage-Individual (ARC-IC), are both revenue based programs. All three programs will be discussed and reviewed at the conference.

There are a few additional changes with the 2014 Farm Bill, one of which is the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) provisions which have changed. Under the 2014 Farm Bill, the AGI limitation is $900,000 that includes both farm and non-farm income. This is a lower limit than the 2008 Farm Bill.

FSA provides producers with specifics on the mechanics of each program and the requirements for enrollment, ISU Extension provides producers with guidance and advice as to the benefits of each program offered. FSA has a great working relationship with ISU Extension and they will be providing additional meetings for producers over the next several months.

Can you give us a preview of the points and information you’re planning on presenting at the conference?

I am planning to review National Notice ARCPLC-4 that provides a basic overview of Base Acre Reallocation, Counter-Cyclical Yield updating and the basics of each program, PLC, ARC-CO and ARC-IC. The information presented will include examples on the mechanics of each program as well.

It looks like you’re active in a number of FSA programs, can you tell me a little about them and how they help female landowners?

FSA has a number of programs available from loans to the Conservation Reserve program. Our programs are available to all eligible producers and we encourage owners and operators to communicate with each other to ensure all parties involved are enrolling in the programs that best work for their farm or farms.

Can you tell me a little bit more about your background?

I started with the agency in the fall of 1986 as a temporary Program Tech in the Webster County FSA Office after graduating from Iowa State University. In 1989, I was selected as a County Office Trainee and in the spring of 1990 I became the County Executive Director of the Boone County FSA Office, located in Boone Iowa. I remained the CED in Boone until I was selected in the spring of 2007, as the Chief Agricultural Program Specialist for the Production Adjustment Department located in the Iowa State FSA Office, Des Moines. In February of 2014, I was very fortunate to be selected as a task force team member for our National FSA Office to assist with the implementation of the new ARC, PLC program.

Hear More About the 2014 Farm Bill at the Iowa Women’s Landowner Conference

Mr. McClure’s extensive experience with FSA programs makes him an excellent resource in the region. With a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration and 28 years’ experience in the FSA, he provides assistance in the state office for production agriculture and risk management in agriculture.

The Second Annual Iowa Women’s Landowner Conference is almost here – have you registered yet? We have many speakers, networking and awesome food – come check it out!

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