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With low commodity prices steady for the last year, payments under the ARC and PLC programs are opening up.
Since July, corn prices have gone down 15% and soybeans have decreased 10%.
US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says with that loss in price he expects payments this year to be higher than the last, which was $5.2 billion in payments to 900,000 producers, or about 45% of U.S. farmers.
But at the Commodity Classic last week Vilsack says there’s more that can be done, “There are always tweaks to the system. I think we still have to give some farmers some flexibility in terms of the counties they select from an administrative standpoint. I think in a new program you have to have enough flexibility when someone realizes they may have made a mistake about which county they designated.”
Vilsack says he understands the concerns of how county averages are established. He says there has to be a system and he thinks the best way is to look at the National Agricultural Statistic Service numbers, if that’s not available then Risk Management Agency numbers, then checking out the state committees.