By William Edwards, Department of Economics
The Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 contains a wide variety of legislation affecting everything from school lunches to milk checks. Some of the most immediate provisions that farmers must address are:
• New limitations on commodity payments,
• Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE),
• Supplemental Revenue Assistance (SURE) program.
New payment rules basically attribute USDA commodity payments to individual taxpayers, regardless of the number and nature of farm business entities they are involved in. Operators and owners will be asked to provide information about their roles in their farming operations in order to establish eligibility for program payments. ACRE provides intermediate term protection against the risk of falling revenues from crop production, in exchange for reduced direct program crop payments. SURE is a permanent disaster program that extends the level of coverage that producers can purchase through conventional crop insurance policies.
Additional titles in the bill address such issues as dairy price supports, organic production, horticultural crops, and programs for beginning farmers. Additional information about each of these topics can be found on the ISU Ag Decision Maker Web site. Also on the site is a schedule of county level informational meetings that will be held during the next several months. These county level meetings will feature presenters from ISU Extension and the Farm Service Agency.
For those who cannot attend a meeting, archived video of the presentations can be viewed on personal computers. View some or all of the presentations for additional information about the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008. Link here to the archived videos.
• Payment Regulations Limitations – Kevin McClure, USDA Farm Service Agency
• SURE Disaster Program – William Edwards, Iowa State University
• Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) – Chad Hart, Iowa State University
• ACRE Example with Crop Risk Model – Sterling Liddell, Iowa Farm Bureau
William Edwards is a professor of economics with extension responsibilities in farm business management