LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska Extension and USDA Farm Service Agency in Nebraska will host a series of Farm Bill education meetings next month to assist producers as they begin to make farm-bill related program decisions. The 2018 Farm Bill, signed into law last December, reauthorized the existing Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) safety net programs that were in the 2014 Farm Bill, however producers will need to make new program enrollment decisions over the coming months.

While the ARC and PLC programs under the new farm bill remain very similar to the previous farm bill, a few program changes coupled with changes in market conditions and outlook could significantly impact producer decisions.

“These meetings will help producers understand the programs and recent changes, as well as the decisions to be made at sign-up now and in the coming years,” said Nancy Johner, State Executive Director for the USDA Farm Service Agency in Nebraska. “There are some changes, such as an optional PLC program yield update, and other tweaks to the ARC and PLC programs that producers should consider as they make their selections.”

“Producers face a familiar choice between ARC and PLC, but under very different circumstances now as compared to 2014,” said Brad Lubben, Policy Specialist with Nebraska Extension. “Understanding the program mechanics, analysis and available decision tools will help producers make sound enrollment decisions with FSA.”

The joint Nebraska Extension and Nebraska Farm Service Agency producer education meetings are scheduled at seven locations in northeast Nebraska in December in advance of the coming ARC/PLC enrollment deadlines in early 2020.

The meetings are all free and open to the public. Advance registration is encouraged for planning purposes for materials and facilities. Attendees can register for any of the meetings conveniently on the web at farmbill.unl.edu or by calling or visiting their county FSA or Extension office. The educational programs are each set to run three hours in length, featuring information and insight from FSA specialists and Extension experts, as well as other relevant information from local agencies.

The meeting schedule for northeast Nebraska is as follows:

• Bloomfield — Community Center: Dec. 2, 1:30-4:30 p.m.

• O’Neill — Community Center: Dec. 3, 9 a.m.-noon

• Columbus — Ag Park: Dec. 4, 9 a.m.-noon

• Dakota City — Dakota County Service Center: Dec. 5, 1:30-4:30 p.m.

• West Point — Nielsen Center: Dec. 9, 9 a.m.-noon

• Wayne — Wayne Fire Hall: Dec. 16, (2 meetings) 1-4 p.m. or 6-9 p.m.

• Norfolk — Northeast Community College Lifelong Learning Center: Dec. 18, 1-4 p.m.

Check the website for updates on locations, dates and times. All times are local with registration beginning 30 minutes ahead of start.

There also are resources available online that can educate producers in their ARC/PLC decision-making process. Links to these resources are available from FSA at www.fsa.usda.gov/ne under the Spotlights section or from Extension at farmbill.unl.edu.

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