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Farm Bill payment calculator available for 2019 cash flow estimates

A calculator developed by NDSU Extension to help producers estimate the Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coveragepayments they may receive in 2019 is available online.

The payments are for the 2018 crop year, but final determination and issuance of actual payments are not made until the last three months of 2019.

Producers face a challenging profit environment for 2019 and any source of revenue will be important in projecting cash flow, according to Andy Swenson, NDSU Extension farm and family resource management specialist.

"The most current U.S. Department of Agriculture projection of 2018 marketing year average prices indicate that base acres of wheat, corn, barley, canola, sunflowers, flax, safflower, small chickpea and sorghum should generate payments if enrolled in the PLC program," said Swenson. "Field peas are on the edge, meaning any reduction in the 2018 MYA price also would trigger a PLC payment."

PLC payments on a crop's base acres will vary from farm to farm according to the PLC payment yield.

The PLC safety net is triggered by low prices. Payments will be reduced or eliminated if prices rise, but the loss of revenue could be offset by greater income from the market if producers grow those crops.

"The ARC program is more complicated and difficult to project because it is a safety net triggered by the combination of price and yield," said Swenson.

Using current USDA price projections and average county yields for 2018, no ARC payments would be made for crops with the largest base acres in North Dakota – wheat, soybeans and corn.

Swenson notes that the 2018 MYA prices will not be known for several months and payment projections can change.

The calculator will be updated each month with the latest USDA projections.

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North Dakota State University
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