The following information is provided by Nationwide, the No. 1 farm and ranch insurer in the United States.
Farmers know all too well about risk; it’s present in every aspect of the job. Whether it’s maintenance, running equipment or any number of other things, one of the biggest risks will be sales when you get to market.
The government has programs to help farmers address some of the risk they face with commodity markets. They provide revenue and price loss payments for eligible farmers under the farm bill. Under that bill many farmers may qualify for additional payments but are unable to collect those because of individual payment caps.
To maximize the amount of payments a farmer can receive, special consideration needs to be given to the structure of the farmer’s operation and this may mean consideration should be given to the challenges of succession planning. Failing to plan for Farm Service Agency programs could mean the difference between securing the farming operation for the next generation or a forced sale.
What you should consider
It’s critical that all programs that can assist you are examined. These programs come with qualifications and have requirements to ensure maximum benefits are achieved.
To be eligible for payments under Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), a farmer must be engaged in farming and contributing significantly to the farming operations. There are provisions around how “contributions” are defined, so it’s important to understand these guidelines so terms are met and that you structure your operation appropriately to capture all of the potential program benefits available.
Questions you may have
• Will I need to change the way I run my operations?
• How can I learn more about these programs, their qualifications and how I can bring my operation to qualify?
• Can the next generation be structured in a way to allow for them to be eligible for program payments without interfering with the operation of the farm?
Researching these questions and coming to an answer isn’t something that you have to do by yourself. It’s important to enlist the help of qualified professionals who don’t have a stake in the final decisions. Qualified professionals may include your banker, your accountant, your personal attorney or a financial or estate planner. If you would like help in finding a qualified professional to speak with, contact the Nationwide Land As Your Legacy team at [email protected] or toll-free at 1-855-529-2729.