LINCOLN, NEB. – Nebraska Farm Bureau has developed a guide highlighting a series of items for farmers to consider as they start the process of signing up for programs under the 2018 Farm Bill. Farmers have until March 15 to sign-up for program participation. In December 2018, Nebraska Farm Bureau worked with Congress to pass a farm bill that protected crop insurance and provided modest reforms to commodity and conservation programs.

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 “Today, the average American farm produces enough food and fiber to care for 166 people. Beyond food, agriculture and the efforts of farmers and ranchers touch virtually every facet of our lives, ranging from fuel for our vehicles to the clothes on our backs, and everything in between,” said Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president. “The guide was developed to help Nebraska farmers as they navigate the programs designed to help them continue to be the best food, fuel, and fiber producers in the world.”

Nebraska Farm Bureau’s “Ten Things to Remember: 2018 Farm Bill Sign-Up” provides helpful tips but is not a substitute for farmers consulting with their local Farm Service Agency office or their crop insurance agent. The full guide is available on the Nebraska Farm Bureau website at www.nefb.org.

Topics noted in the guide for farmers to consider include:

1. Make sure to sign-up at your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office and talk with your crop insurance agent.

2. Unlike the last farm bill, farmers aren’t locked into their program decisions for the life of the farm bill.

3. Don’t assume a previous decision between the Agriculture Loss Coverage (ARC) program and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program is the best decision moving forward.

4. Before making a program election, first decide whether to update farm program yields.

5. If you select the Agriculture Loss Coverage – County (ARC-CO) program, remember payments will be based on physical location of the farm and Risk Management Data will be the primary yield data set used.

6. Farms that took 100 percent preventative planting or experienced very large yield losses should give Agriculture Loss Coverage – Individual (ARC-IC) a strong look.

7. Reference prices used to determine a Price Loss Coverage (PLC) can change from year-to-year depending on year-to-year price shifts.

8. USDA made changes to the rules that determine eligibility for counties to have both an irrigated and non-irrigated guarantee.

9. Base acres planted to pasture or left fallow from Jan. 1, 2017 through Dec. 31, 2019 won’t be eligible for Agriculture Loss Coverage (ARC) / Price Loss Coverage (PLC) payments, but are eligible for the new Grassland Conservation Initiative program.

10. There’s a lot more to the 2018 Farm Bill than just commodity programs.

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The Nebraska Farm Bureau is a grassroots, state-wide organization dedicated to supporting farm and ranch families and working for the benefit of all Nebraskans through a wide variety of educational, service, and advocacy efforts. More than 58,000 families across Nebraska are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve rural and urban prosperity as agriculture is a key fuel to Nebraska’s economy. For more information about Nebraska Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit www.nefb.org.