Farmers will need to pick up packets regarding farm program sign up again this year. (Photo courtesy National Corn Growers Association)
By Carrie Muehling
NORMAL – Sign up for this year’s farm programs is still a few months away, but now is the time for farmers to make contact with the local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) office.
In McLean County, packet pickup will begin in mid-March. Packets will include details about what to do to complete contracts this year. They will not be mailed because of budget constraints again this year. Producers have the option to sign up for the standard Direct and Counter-Cyclical program (DCP) or the more market-based Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program.
“This year we are running them all as the standard DCP program so if a producer chooses or wants to be in the ACRE program they’ll have to let us know so we can generate an ACRE contract,” said Jonathan Evers, executive director of the USDA McLean County Farm Service Agency.
Evers said it is up to producers to decide which program is best for them.
“That’s their decision this year and it doesn’t matter what they’ve done in the past. They’ve got the choice to go either way,” said Evers.
Evers encouraged farmers to keep their contact information up to date with the FSA office.
“If they haven’t checked their e-mail recently, we sent out an e-newsletter a few weeks or so. If they received that, if they could look to that newsletter and there’s probably some further information there for them to look at,” said Evers. “If they didn’t receive that newsletter, I’d also encourage them to come in and provide their e-mail or cell phone number so that we can try to stay connected with them as much as possible.”
The deadline to sign up for the ACRE program is June 3. DCP sign up must be completed by Aug. 2.
Carrie Muehling can be reached at email@example.com.