The U.S. Department of Agriculture is doling out $8 billion in federal aid through its two safety net programs – the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC).
For Nebraska farmers, the share is $638 million, which is designed to help bridge the gap between input costs and low commodity prices.
“It provides some cash flow for producers to help cover existing expenses or even to be used in planning for the upcoming season,” Mike Eller, USDA Nebraska Farm Service Agency acting executive director, tells Nebraska Radio Network.
He says the 85,000 farmers enrolled in the programs will be paid through a formula that considers their crop’s yield.
“It’s based on each individual crop and each individual farm, and even the payment rates will vary from county to county. Depending on which program we’re talking about,” Eller explains.
Last year’s payments in Nebraska totaled about $656 million, according to the Nebraska FSA office.
“In Nebraska, the predominate crops that are covered are corn, soybeans, and grain sorghum,” Eller says. “Basically, whether they’re larger or smaller producers, most of those producers do enroll in Nebraska in these programs.”
The safety net programs are designed to help farmers when commodity prices don’t meet historic benchmark prices.
The ARC and PLC programs were authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.
AUDIO: Mike Loizzo reports [:41]