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Online tools will explain farm bill programs

Published Jun. 10, 2014 | Discuss this article on Facebook
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Buckeye Farm News

Wondering how to make sense of the new commodity programs being offered in the Farm Bill?  Ohio Farm Bureau was part of an effort to get the U.S. Department of Agriculture to approve $3 million for online tools and educational programs to help farmers learn about several key farm bill programs.

Ohio Farm Bureau reached out to Farm Bureaus and farm groups in multiple states, asking them to sign a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that outlined their support for fully funding the National Coalition for Producer Education (NCPE) proposal. The coalition is made up of universities and cooperative state extension services in 11 states including Ohio State University. The coalition will be developing new online tools and training state-based extension members to help educate farmers on the new programs.

The new resources will help farmers make an educated choice between the new Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) program and the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program. Farmers will be able to use data unique to their specific farming operations combined with factors such as the geographical diversity of crops, soils, weather and climates across the country to test a variety of financial scenarios before officially signing up for the new program options.  The online tool will be available late summer with sign up expected in the winter.  Once producers enroll in the ARC or PLC program, they must remain in it through the 2018 crop year.

New tools will be provided for other programs as well. Sign-up for the newly established Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP) begins late this summer and enrollment for "buy-up" provisions under the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) will begin early next year. An online MPP tool will be available when signup begins, and the NAP buy-up provision resource will become available to producers in the fall for the 2015 crop year.

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