Ask FSA Andy about enrolling in ARC or PLC

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Hello again, friends:

What happened to the old adage that says if “March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb”? I have met some pretty ornery lambs in my life, but I can’t say the weather right now reminds me of any kind of a lamb!

We were up and out early Saturday morning, ya know, the END of March, and it was very cold, well below the freezing mark.

We visited a local dairy farm to pick up a very cute and sweet little Holstein calf for my youngest daughter’s 4-H project, which has been named “Diesel.” I stood out there and froze while she made her selection, which of course was based primarily on a “cuteness” factor.

Tractors were running, people were working, cows were mooing — I am sure it was just a snapshot of what each day looks like on this farm, with the exception of several layers of clothing were necessary due to the cold temperatures.

That little calf, only a few days old, still knew his mind, unfortunately his legs didn’t always cooperate. He didn’t want to go to a new home apparently, so he just laid down, and the fun of loading began — of course, since he could be picked up it wasn’t much of a contest! My daughter quickly realized in the last couple of days that even a new baby calf will fight change.

Change is not always fun or easy! This new farm bill still has a few who are digging in their heels or just laying down. Once again, an extension has been granted, just a week this time. So if you have been thinking about the program or have some questions, you have until April 7 to get them asked and answered.

Nearly 90 percent of your neighbors have already enrolled into the program.

If no changes are made to yield history or base acres by the deadline, your farm’s current yield and base acres will be used. If a program choice of ARC or PLC is not made, there will be no 2014 crop year payments for the farm and the farm will default to PLC coverage for the 2015 through 2018 crop years.

There are online tools, available at www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc, that allow producers to explore how ARC or PLC coverage will affect their operations.

Until next week, here is another old adage, “A dry March and a wet May? Fill barns and bays with corn and hay.” Let’s hope this one comes true!

That’s all for now,

FSA Andy

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FSA Andy is written by USDA Farm Service Agency county executive directors in northeastern Ohio.

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