Producers have until March 15th to make their sign-up elections (agriculture risk coverage (ARC) or price loss coverage (PLC)) with FSA and enroll for the 2023 crop year. Based on the number of calls we have been receiving, relatively high but volatile commodity prices for many of the covered commodities have at least a few producers confused as to what would be the best choice to make. Unlike in many previous years, based on price forecasts for the 2023 marketing year average prices, there appears to be very little chance that the safety net for many of the major Southern commodities will trigger support based on price alone. Except for peanuts, marketing year average prices are projected to be well above reference prices used to calculate PLC payments. In other words, if the price projections come true, there would be no payments for the 2023 crop (Table 1).
This is the reason for many of the calls we receive. The caller usually says they are going to select ARC since it covers both price and yield. While this makes sense, it just isn’t that easy. With respect to price, ARC and PLC are counter-cyclical safety net programs. They were developed to provide little to no support when marketing year average prices are high, with support increasing as prices move lower year to year. Since ARC is a revenue program, there is protection against both low price. [READ MORE]