USDA Issues Safety-Net Payments to Farmers in Response to 2015 Market Downturn

WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2016 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that beginning today, many of the 1.7 million farms that enrolled in either the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs will receive safety-net payments due to market downturns during the 2015 crop year.

“This fall, USDA will be making more than $7 billion in payments under the ARC-County and PLC programs to assist participating producers, which will account for over 10 percent of USDA’s projected 2016 net farm income. These payments will help provide reassurance to America’s farm families, who are standing strong against low commodity prices compounded by unfavorable growing conditions in many parts of the country,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “At USDA, we are standing strong behind them, tapping in to every resource that we have to help. So far in 2016, this has included creating a one-time cost share program for cotton ginning, purchasing about $800 million in excess commodities to be redirected to food banks and those in need, making $11 million in payments to America’s dairy farmers through the Dairy Margin Protection Program, and reprogramming Farm Service Agency funds to expand credit options for farmers and ranchers in need of extra capital. As always, we continue to watch market conditions and will explore opportunities for further assistance in the coming months. For producers challenged by weather, disease and falling prices, we will continue to ensure the availability of a strong safety net to keep them farming or ranching.”

Unlike the old direct payment program, which issued payments during both weak and strong market conditions, the 2014 Farm Bill authorized the ARC-PLC safety net to trigger and provide financial assistance only when decreases in revenues or crop prices, respectively, occur.  The ARC and PLC programs primarily allow producers to continue to produce for the market by making payments on a percentage of historical base production, limiting the impact on production decisions.

Nationwide, producers enrolled 96 percent of soybean base acres, 91 percent of corn base acres and 66 percent of wheat base acres in the ARC-County coverage option. Producers enrolled 99 percent of long grain rice and peanut base acres and 94 percent of medium grain rice base acres in the PLC option. Overall, 76 percent of participating farm base acres are enrolled in ARC-County, 23 percent in PLC and one percent in ARC-Individual. For other program information including frequently asked questions, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc.

Payments are made to producers who enrolled base acres of barley, corn, grain sorghum, lentils, oats, peanuts, dry peas, soybeans, wheat, and canola. In the upcoming months, payments will be announced after marketing year average prices are published by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service for the remaining covered commodities. These include long and medium grain rice (except for temperate Japonica rice), which will be announced in November, remaining oilseeds and chickpeas, which will be announced in December, and temperate Japonica rice, which will be announced in early February 2017.  Upland cotton is no longer a covered commodity.

The Budget Control Act of 2011, passed by Congress, requires USDA to reduce 2015 ARC and PLC payments by 6.8 percent. For more information, producers are encouraged to visit their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. To find a local FSA office, visit http://offices.usda.gov.

USDA works to strengthen and support American agriculture, an industry that supports one in 11 American jobs, provides American consumers with more than 80 percent of the food we consume, ensures that Americans spend less of their paychecks at the grocery store than most people in other countries, and supports markets for homegrown renewable energy and materials. Since 2009, USDA has provided $5.6 billion in disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; expanded risk management tools with products like Whole Farm Revenue Protection; and helped farm businesses grow with $36 billion in farm credit. The Department has engaged its resources to support a strong next generation of farmers and ranchers by improving access to land and capital; building new markets and market opportunities; and extending new conservation opportunities. USDA has developed new markets for rural-made products, including more than 2,500 biobased products through USDA's BioPreferred program; and invested $64 billion in infrastructure and community facilities to help improve the quality of life in rural America. For more information, visitwww.usda.gov/results.

Coleman 4-H Recognizes Award Recipients During Annual Banquet

Coleman 4-H Recognizes Award Recipients During Annual Banquet
Jordan Nall presenting Outstanding 4-H Adult Project Leader award to Steve Hinds; Blake Greaves presenting the Outstanding 4-H Adult Project Leader Meredith Taylor.

The Coleman County 4-H Clubs and families met for their annual 4-H Awards Banquet on Saturday, September 24th at the Bill Franklin Center.  Youth received Project Pins and Certificates for their accomplishments during the previous 4-H year. Special guests were recognized as well.

Chosen to be the Coleman County 2016 “Friend of 4-H” was the Coleman Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Mike Edington, Dr. Mark Swening and Dr. Sharilyn Nall graciously provide help and information to the 4-H youth whether it is presenting programs at the 4-H meeting or providing assistance to those youth entering stock shows by completing health papers and providing health care for the 4-Hers animals. The veterinarians at the Coleman Vet Clinic have supported the Coleman County Livestock Show as both donors and as buyers. The 4-H clubs greatly appreciate all the work and support given to the Coleman County 4-H program.

​​​​​​Without the help of our volunteers, many of our 4-H projects would not be successful. One of the largest 4-H programs in Coleman County is the Shooting Sports Project. Recognized at the banquet were volunteers Ben and Meredith Taylor and Steve Hinds.  These project volunteers have given their time and talents to the 4-H members for many years, working tirelessly on a weekly basis for many months each year. They provide education on gun safety and teach youth how to shoot Rifle, Pistol, Muzzle Loading and Archery. The Taylors and Mr. Hinds are volunteers that are dedicated to what they are passionate about. Under their leadership, club members have been given the opportunity to travel all over the state shooting at the Junior Olympics as well as being a member of the traveling team that goes all over the United States. The Coleman County 4-H clubs appreciate their dedication to making this program successful. 

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Coleman County FSA Acreage Reporting Dates for 2017

Coleman County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Curtis L. Garrett announced that producers who file accurate and timely reports for all crops and land uses, including failed acreage can prevent the potential loss of FSA program benefits. Please pay close attention to the acreage reporting dates below for 2017.

“In order to comply with FSA program eligibility requirements, all producers are encouraged to visit the Coleman County FSA office to file an accurate crop certification report by the applicable deadline," said Garrett.

The following acreage reporting dates are applicable for Coleman County:

     November 15, 2016:  Grass and Mixed Forage
     January 15, 2017:  Wheat, Oats, Barley, Canola, Rye, Triticale and Peaches
     May 15, 2017:  Oats (Planted after December 15) and Pecans
     July 15, 2017:  Sesame, Sorghum Forage, Corn, Cotton, Sorghum, Millet and Fallow

The following exceptions apply to the above acreage reporting dates:

• If the crop has not been planted by the above acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 15 calendar days after planting is completed.

• If a producer acquires additional acreage after the above acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 30 calendars days after purchase or acquiring the lease. Appropriate documentation must be provided to the county office.

• If a perennial forage crop is reported with the intended use of “cover only,” “green manure,” “left standing,” or “seed” then the acreage must be reported by July 15.

According to Garrett, Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) policy holders should note that the acreage reporting date for NAP covered crops is the earlier of the dates listed above or 15 calendar days before grazing or harvesting of the crop begins.

Consumer Decision-Making 4H Contest

7 youth from Coleman County competed in the District 7 4-H Consumer Decision Making Contest on Friday, February 19th in San Angelo. The Junior team consisted of Natalee Rose, A.J. Phillips and Vallyn Rosales. Natalee received 4th high individual and A.J. received 6th high individual over the Junior division. On the Intermediate team was Hannah Rose, Macy Lawdermilk and Makailey Rosales. Representing Colman in the Senior division was Angie Calfa, individual competitor.

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Consumer Decision-Making 4H Contest
Pictured from left to right are: Angie Calfa, Natalee Rose, A.J.Phillips, Macy Lawdermilk, Makailey Rosales, Hannah Rose and Vallyn Rosales.

Local boys place at San Antonio Stock Show

Brock Bouldin (left) is pictured with his 2nd place Class 2 Fine Wool Cross at the 2016 San Antonio Stock Show on Feb 17.  Brock is a seventh grader at Coleman Jr High and a member of the Coleman 4-H Club. He is the son of Monty and Amber Bouldin.

Brent Bouldin (right) is pictured with his 6th place Class 6 Fine Wool Cross at the 2016 San Antonio Stock Show on Feb 16.  Brent is a fourth grader at Coleman Elementary and a member of the Coleman 4-H Club. He is the son of Monty and Amber Bouldin.