Nancy Johner FSA

Nancy Johner, executive director of the Nebraska Farm Service Agency.

Farmers, the clock is ticking. March 16 is the final day to make what is likely one of the most important business decisions you will make for your farming operation this year.

If you have not already visited your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county office to make your election for either the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program and to sign your annual enrollment contract, you should call and make your appointment now.

Many of you will soon be focused on spring planting and other outdoor activities. I cannot stress enough the importance of not letting this deadline get lost in the hectic day-to-day obligations of farm life. If you fail to enroll for 2019 ARC or PLC, you will be ineligible to receive a payment for the 2019 crop year.

ARC and PLC provide financial protections to farmers from substantial drops in crop prices or revenues and are vital economic safety nets for most American farms. These programs cover 20 commodities produced in the U.S., including Nebraska commodities such as corn, soybeans, wheat, grain sorghum, dry peas, chickpeas, sunflowers and others.

FSA anticipates more than 1.7 million producers will enroll in ARC or PLC nationwide - that’s a large number of producers to assist in a short period of time. As of Feb. 10, FSA records in Nebraska show that over 60% of farms here have not yet completed the ARC or PLC selection and enrollment process for the 2019 crop year.

When you call for an appointment, inquire about deadlines and options for also enrolling in 2020 ARC or PLC and updating PLC payment yields. Our staff will help you make the most of your visit or set you up with a future appointment to help check these other FSA program actions off your lengthy “to do” list.

If you’re still unsure about the choice of ARC or PLC, we offer online decision tools, including an on-demand webinar recorded with Nebraska Extension, to help you determine the best program election for your farming operation. Visit www.fsa.usda.gov/ne to access these tools.

Call FSA today for an appointment. To locate your local FSA office, visit farmers.gov/service-center-locator.