Nebraska Farm Bureau teaser

Jay Reiners operates his John Deere tractor while cultivating soybeans in Juniata, Nebraska, in 2015. Stats for 2017 show that many counties in eastern Nebraska with lots of soybean production saw their exports fall, while counties in the beef-heavy Sand Hills fared better.

The University of Nebraska Extension and USDA Farm Service Agency in Nebraska will host a series of Farm Bill education meetings over the next two months to assist producers as they begin to make farm-bill related program decisions. The sites include Alliance, Scottsbluff and Bridgeport.

The 2018 Farm Bill, signed into law last December, reauthorized the existing Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) safety net programs that were in the 2014 Farm Bill; however producers will need to make new program enrollment decisions over the coming months.

While the ARC and PLC programs under the new farm bill remain very similar to the previous farm bill, a few program changes coupled with changes in market conditions and outlook could significantly impact producer decisions.

“These meetings will help producers understand the programs and recent changes, as well as the decisions to be made at sign-up now and in the coming years,” said Nancy Johner, State Executive Director for the USDA Farm Service Agency in Nebraska. “There are some changes, such as an optional PLC program yield update, and other tweaks to the ARC and PLC programs that producers should consider as they make their selections.”

“Producers face a familiar choice between ARC and PLC, but under very different circumstances now as compared to 2014,” said Brad Lubben, Extension Policy Specialist at UNL. “Understanding the program mechanics, analysis and available decision tools will help producers make sound enrollment decisions with FSA.”

The joint Nebraska Extension and Nebraska Farm Service Agency producer education meetings are scheduled at 28 locations across the state from late November to mid-December in advance of the coming ARC/PLC enrollment deadlines in early 2020.

The meetings are all free and open to the public. Advance registration is encouraged for planning purposes for materials and facilities. Attendees can register for any of the meetings conveniently on the web at farmbill.unl.edu or by calling or visiting their county FSA or Extension office.

The educational programs are each set to run three hours in length, featuring information and insight from FSA specialists and Extension experts, as well as other relevant information from local agencies.

Panhandle/North Central meetings:

Alliance, Nov. 18: Newberry’s, 9 a.m. – noon.

Scottsbluff, Nov. 22: Panhandle Research & Extension Center, 9 a.m. – noon.

Bridgeport, Nov. 22: Prairie Winds Community Center, 2-5 p.m.

Ogallala, Dec. 12: Keith County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall, 1-4 p.m.

Valentine, Dec. 16: Mid Plains Community College, 9 a.m. – noon.

Ainsworth, Dec. 16: Ainsworth Lutheran Church, 2-5 p.m.

Chadron, Dec. 17: Chadron State College, 1:30-4:30 p.m.

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