Farmers Could Cash In On Farm Bill Program

By: Tiffany Teasley Email
By: Tiffany Teasley Email

When the market is more unpredictable than the crop, revenues in a recession can dry up quickly for farmers.

"Because a lot of our input costs have sky rocketed, fertilizer costs have gone up, fuel costs have gone up," said Roger Betz, of the Michigan State University Extension.

But a new program called ACRE, or Average Crop Revenue Election, as part of the 2008 Farm Bill will act as a subsidy for farmers based on the state's revenue as determined by national average price times the yield of corn, soy and other crops.

"If it falls below 90 percent of the previous two years average, then that triggers a potential payment for farmers," Betz said.

Payments that could bring in millions of for Michigan's agriculture industry says Roger Betz of the MSU Extension, and bring in hundreds of dollars for local farmers to help manage their risk.

"If we had just and average yield in Michigan, we're looking at a $60 to $70 payment per acre on your corn-based acres," Betz said.

So is the ACRE program for you? That's the question officials from the Farm Bureau and the MSU Extension will be answering in a series of meetings to educate farmers about the program.

"The meetings we have coming up are designed to educate farmers on what the benefits are of this program," Betz said.

While the payments wouldn't kick in until October of 2010, the deadline is August 14, 2009. Betz says while farmers do give up 20 percent of their direct payments, the small sacrifice will mean big help based on future projections.

"The odds are that it will pay and make up for the loss of revenue, even for the next four years, and this program is designed to help farmers manage their risk so, we have more of a steady flow of income from year to year," Betz said.

An informational meeting is being held Monday, July 27 at the Monsanto Research Farm at 474 S. Onondaga Road in Mason. You must apply for the ACRE program in person at your local Farm Service Agency by Aug. 14.

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  • by Anonymous on Jul 28, 2009 at 10:04 AM
    There are some farmers who make more not growing crops than they do when they grow it.
  • by St. James Location: St. Johns on Jul 27, 2009 at 11:01 AM
    Another give away program? If input prices are up, which they are. The price at the store is diffinetly up, and should cover the price of the inputs. True? The one thing we know is that when government gets involved, prices go up (insurance, education, health care, social security, fuel prices). We subsidized ethanol and it proved to be a bust, and sent the industry into a tail spin. When will we realize the greed that comes along with these give away progams. The only group prospering from this will be the lobbyist at Monsanto Research Farm 474 S. Ononada in Mason. After all they control the input prices, don't they???
  • by Anonymous on Jul 27, 2009 at 06:47 AM
    This is another subsidie program that is driving up the cost of everything.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 27, 2009 at 02:57 AM
    Farmers are the backbone of america.Think what would happen if we had to buy all our food from overseas?All the price raises in many areas have put some farmers out of bussiness.More will follow enless alot of things change.Food prices will go up as less crops are produced.I don't think we need higher food prices.Ditch the ethnol and use corn for what was entended.Eating.Bring food prices down and keep farmers prices down so they can make a living as well.Get rid of the greed in this country or watch us fall and fail.Then what?
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