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Ag Briefs

Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Enrollment for 2020

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) encourages agricultural producers to enroll now in the Agriculture Risk Loss (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs. The deadline to enroll for the 2020 crop year is June 30, 2020. By enrolling soon, producers can beat the rush as the deadline nears.

FSA offices have multiple programs competing for the time and attention of our staff.  Because of the importance and complexities of the ARC and PLC programs; and to ensure FSA meets your program delivery expectations, please do not wait to start the enrollment process. Contact your FSA county office and make an appointment soon to ensure your elections are made and contracts signed well ahead of the deadline.

ARC and PLC provide financial protections to farmers from substantial drops in crop prices or revenues and are vital economic safety nets for most American farms.

The programs cover the following commodities: barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium and short grain rice, safflower seed, seed cotton, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. 

Farm owners have a one-time opportunity to update PLC payment yields that take effect beginning with crop year 2020. If the owner accompanies the producer to the office, the yield update and enrollments may be completed during the same office visit.

Ethanol co-op determined to keep going despite drop in fuel demand

WATERTOWN, S.D. — Ethanol producers in the Dakotas and Minnesota are making different decisions about staying open in the face of the swift, sharp drop in fuel demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Renewable Fuels Association said in an April 20 report that ethanol sales could decline by $10 billion from the $23 billion that had been expected for 2020. Ethanol production was at record lows for the first half of April.

“Weekly consumption has already fallen by nearly 50% compared to the same time in 2019,” the report said. Glacial Lakes Ethanol LLC, based in Watertown, S.D., with its four ethanol plants and 1 million gallons of daily production in South Dakota, is part of the half of the industry still open for business

Pandemic leads to Idaho potato market woes

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic has caused a once strong potato market to make an abrupt about-face, leading some Idaho growers to dump surplus spuds from storage cellars or to feed them to cattle.

Just a few weeks ago, Idaho potato farmers were enjoying some of their best fresh prices in recent memory and anticipated supplies would run short in the coming summer. The combination of lower spud yields and widespread frost damage during the 2019 harvest had contributed to a smaller statewide crop than normal, the Post Register reported Saturday.

Indiana nonprofit lands grant to train refugees in farming

NEW HAVEN, Ind. (AP) — Refugees from a southeast Asian nation who’ve settled in northeastern Indiana will be learning how to farm in the Midwest thanks to a federal grant landed by a nonprofit group.

Fort Wayne-based Heartland Communities will use the 3-year, $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to found the Refugee Incubator Farm of Northeast Indiana.

Heartland Communities’ administrator, Jain Young, has secured an agreement with Save Maumee Grassroots Organization to use nine acres in New Haven, just east of Fort Wayne, for the farming project.

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