David Schaad, acting executive director of USDA’s Farm Service Agency in California announced that new online research and planning tools are now available for farmers and ranchers to assist them in examining how the new 2008 farm bill programs apply to their crops and operations.
ACRE or the Average Crop Revenue Election Program, is a new revenue-based guarantee program administered by FSA that assists farmers and ranchers in managing the risks inherent in agricultural operations. ACRE is an alternative to the traditional price-stabilizing Direct and Counter-cyclical Program.
By visiting the FSA Web site at www.fsa.usda.gov, growers enter their crops, acreages and price/yield projections in an ACRE Calculator to evaluate potential results. The calculator tool and other information and eligibility resources can be found by navigating to the Direct and Counter-cyclical Program/ACRE pages shown in the menu bar on the left of the FSA homepage.
"The ACRE alternative provides eligible producers a state-level revenue guarantee, based on the five-year state Olympic average yield and the two-year national average price," said Schaad.
The Web site also provides a 2008 Benchmark Yield History, ACRE Revenue Yield Maps and ACRE Price Values. The calculator can be used for one year and repeated to project multiple year results. Additional ACRE background information includes fact sheets and descriptive charts to help explain this program's provisions and calculations.
Aug. 14 is the deadline to elect and enroll in ACRE for the 2009 crop year. Note that once a producer elects to participate in ACRE, the farm is no longer eligible for the regular Direct and Counter-cyclical Program through the 2012 crop year, the last year covered by the 2008 farm bill.
Producers should carefully evaluate their participation in ACRE. Payments in ACRE are made only when both state and farm-level triggers are met. By participating in ACRE, producers elect to forgo counter-cyclical payments, receive a 20-percent reduction in direct payments and a 30-percent reduction in loan rates.
For more information about your options under ACRE and other new farm bill programs, contact your nearest Farm Service Agency office to schedule an appointment. You can also visit the FSA Web site at www.fsa.usda.gov to obtain the location of your nearest office.