Making the ARC/PLC Election for 2024

On November 16, 2023, President Biden signed H.R. 6363 – the Further Continuing Appropriations and Other Extensions Act of 2024 – into law. The bill extended the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill), reauthorizing programs like the Agriculture Risk (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs through September 30, 2024. Producers will have an opportunity to make a one-time election between ARC and PLC for the 2024 crop year. USDA opened the election and enrollment period on December 18, 2023, and it runs through March 15, 2024.[1]

The ARC/PLC decision for 2024 is against the backdrop of a general softening in prices, but the implications vary by crop. For some crops, the decision may be clear-cut. In this article, we illustrate the case of wheat (Figure 1). While Effective Reference Prices are projected to climb starting next year for wheat, it is important to remember that you are making a one-year decision for crop year 2024, where the Statutory Reference Price remains at $5.50/bu. With a projected Marketing Year Average Price (MYAP) of $6.63/bu, it is unlikely (though not impossible as we are very early in the growing season) that PLC will trigger. While some may be tempted to elect ARC as a result, note that the 86% trigger threshold is at a price of $5.34/bu, largely indicating that any hope of receiving an ARC payment would rest on very low yields. In other words, in the case of wheat, it’s unlikely that either ARC or PLC will trigger (unless there is a disaster that results in low yields). [READ MORE]

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