Program Deadlines Approaching

USDA’s Risk and Production Program Manager, Brent Orr, spoke recently at the National Peanut Buying Points Association convention about the new Farm Bill programs.

Orr said producers have two important deadlines approaching. Feb. 27, 2015, is the final date to update base and yield, and March 31, 2015, is the final date to select ARC or PLC.

Orr explained that cotton base acres are now generic base, and generic base may receive payment under ARC/PLC for acres planted to a covered commodity. These generic base acres can be used in the reallocation of base acres. Each year, the generic base acres can increase the covered commodity base acres or add a new base to the farm, but it must be planted to a program-covered crop. Converting to a covered commodity is prorated based on plantings.

In the yield update process, producers have some choices: 1) Retain current yields; 2) Update yields to an average of 2008-2012 multiplied by 90 percent; 3) Substitute 75 percent of county average yield per planted acre, if no other is available. Orr said producers should want to update yields to more current figures, given the higher average yield in the last few years. Also, these yield figures will be used in future Farm Bills and having legislators use data from 10 to 15 years ago is not beneficial.

On the base update, it is the base owner that makes the decision on updating and the producer, if that is different, certifies it at the county office. Base update options include: 1) Retaining current (2014) base acres; 2) Reallocating base acres based on plantings of covered commodities 2009 through 2012. Total base cannot be increased at this time.

Certified yields are subject to spot check, and the owner will be responsible for providing the records to verify the accuracy of the yields. The owner also makes the update decision to reallocate or retain base acres. If no decision is made, the farm will retain 2014 base acres and yield.

ARC/ PLC is a five-year program and the current producer with interest in the
crop makes this one-time election. Price Loss Coverage offers price protection. Payments are made when the effective price is less than the reference price for the covered commodity. The effective price is the higher of the average marketing year price or the loan rate. Payment is made on 85 percent of base acres of a covered commodity. Payments are made regardless of planting covered commodities; however, generic base acres must be planted for any payment.

The reference price of $535 per ton on peanuts and the national loan rate at $355 per ton is set for five years. Payments will be issued as soon as possible after October 1 in the year following the applicable marketing year.

Ag Risk Coverage (County) offers revenue protection at the county level. Ag Risk Coverage (Individual) offers revenue protection at an individual farm level across all farmers enrolled and covered commodities planted.

Orr said the PLC program will likely be more favorable to peanut production. If no program is selected, producers will receive no payments for 2014. Power of Attorneys are valid for the ARC/PLC programs. After program election comes program enrollment, which will likely happen in mid-April.

For more information, go to www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc. A decision aid created by the Texas A&M University Ag and Food Policy Center can be found at http://AFPC.Tamu.edu.

In Brief:
• Use the Texas A&M Ag and Food Policy Center decision aid to see what program would be best for your farm.
• OLAM International acquires McClesky Mills.
• Crop insurance will now cover yield and price risk through revenue based insurance program. Feb. 28, 2015, is sales close for many peanut states.
• New peanut leadership class begins. Participants to gain thorough understanding on industry.
• American Peanut Council elects officers. Peanut Congress scheduled for June 13-17, 2015.
• Contribute to the Don Self Memorial Scholarship in honor of Don Self, a founding member of the National Peanut Board.

KMC Honors Philip Grimes

Lanier Carson, chairman of Kelley Manufacturing Company, based in Tifton, Ga., recently paid tribute to Philip Grimes, Sunbelt Farmer of the Year. Carson presented Grimes with a plaque that read, “In recognition of your outstanding achievements and relentless contributions to the agricultural industry. We at Kelley Manufacturing Co.
sincerely appreciate your cooperation in helping us in the development of our peanut harvesting equipment.”

Grimes recalled the first combine, built to reduce loose shelled kernels, Carson brought to his farm. Grimes said Carson worked all day getting it right. “That impressed me and I’ve been with KMC ever since.”

Bennie Branch, KMC president, announced that 2014 was a good year for KMC with $45.1 million in sales, up 25 percent from the previous year. KMC has $8.2 million in inventory, down 11 percent from last year. KMC has more than 200 employees and an annual payroll of $10 million.