USDA Issues Safety-Net Payments to Texas Farmers in Response to 2015 Market Downturn
(COLLEGE STATION, Texas) -- Oct. 18, 2016 – USDA Texas Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director, Judith A. Canales, announced that approximately $354 million will be paid to Texas farms that enrolled in safety-net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill will receive financial assistance for the 2015 crop year. The programs, known as Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), are designed to protect against unexpected drops in crop prices or revenues due to market downturns.
“These safety-net programs provide help when price and revenues fall below normal, unlike the previous direct payments program that provided funds even in good years,” said Canales. “These payments will help provide reassurance to Texas farm families, who are standing strong against low commodity prices compounded by unfavorable growing conditions.”
According to Canales, Texas, producers of barley, canola, oats, peanuts, dry peas, sorghum, soybeans and wheat in 180 counties have experienced a drop in price and/or revenues below the benchmark price established by the ARC or PLC programs and will receive payments. In the upcoming months, payments will be announced after marketing year average prices are published by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) for the remaining covered commodities. These include long and medium/short grain rice which will be announced in November and remaining oilseeds and chickpeas, which will be announced in December. Upland cotton is no longer a covered commodity.
“It’s important to remember that ARC and PLC payments by county can vary because average county yields will differ,” said Canales.
More details on the price and yield information used to calculate the financing assistance from the safety-net programs is available on the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc and
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, visit www.usda.gov/results.