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[Author: Tom Junge, 09.2016 | Keywords: Iowa Field Notes, ARC-CO Checks]

The government program referred to as ARC-CO, will likely be adding revenue to farmers this fall for the 2015 corn and soybean crops.

The maps below (compliments of AgriSource) show expected county payments for corn and soybean crops as of August 17, 2016. The 2015 marketing years will end in August 2016 for corn and soybeans. Since the market years are not over, Market Year Average (MYA) prices are not known with certainty at this time. The maps below used MYA prices of $3.60 for corn and $8.95 for soybeans.

Predicting 2015 ARC-CO payments requires estimating county revenues (2015 county yields x 2015 Market Year Average (MYA) prices). County yields are estimated using county production data released by the National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS). For soybeans, a yield per planted acre is calculated (production for the county divided by planted acres). For corn, a yield per harvested acre is estimated. These yield choices were made to more closely match previous yields used by the Farm Service Agency (FSA).

Iowa Farmers Eager to Enroll Land into the Conservation Reserve Program

Of the 800,000 new acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) nationally in 2016, 128,212 or 16% were from Iowa — the most of any state. Currently, Iowa has about 1.6 million acres enrolled in the CRP on more than 52,800 farms.

Nationally, over three million acres were offered for enrollment in 2016 across the three main categories within CRP, with USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) receiving over 26,000 offers to enroll more than 1.8 million acres during the general enrollment period, and over 4,600 offers to enroll more than one million acres in the new CRP Grasslands program.

For many years, enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) was 30 – 36 million acres, but Congress lowered that total in the 2014 farm bill to 24 million acres. The next opportunity to raise the limit will be in 2019 when the new farm bill is adopted in 2018. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) are in favor of raising the limit. Grassley and Ernst are members of the Senate Agriculture Committee in charge of writing the farm bill.

The next CRP sign up period will be Dec. 1, 2016 – Feb 28, 2017.

Sources: USDA News Release, May 5; Des Moines Register, May 6

About the Author

Tom Junge

Tom has traveled across Iowa calling on members for more than 24 years. When he’s not on the road, Tom stays busy managing both the Iowa and Nebraska Power Farming Shows. In his free time, Tom enjoys watching college and NFL football, fruit gardening and taking trips with his wife and children.