Nebraska crop producers received $646 million in Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agriculture Risk Coverage—County (ARC-CO) payments last fall for the 2016 crop year. In total, the USDA distributed $6.9 billion in payments to participating producers under these two programs.
The maps below show the final payment rates in each county for combined yield, irrigated, and non-irrigated rates under the ARC-CO program for corn, soybeans, and wheat. In Nebraska, 97 percent of farms producing soybeans participate in ARC-CO, 95 percent of farms producing corn participate, and 65 percent of farms producing wheat participate. The average ARC-CO payment per base acre for the 2016 crop year was $53.89 per acre for corn, $5.65 per acre for soybeans, and $11.46 per acre for wheat. As shown on the map, many farmers were in counties which did not receive payments under ARC-CO for soybeans. In addition, farmers in many counties with separate irrigated and non-irrigated corn yields did not receive payments for non-irrigated corn.
Dr. Brad Lubben, agricultural economist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, expects payments under ARC-CO for the 2017 and 2018 crops to be much less because average prices for program commodities have fallen. He projects no payments for soybeans or sorghum for this year, but the lower prices will trigger substantial payments for those wheat and grain sorghum producers who enrolled in the PLC program. Lubben projects total crop program payments for this year (2017 crop) will equal $200 million and will be less than $100 million for the 2018 crop year.
Jay Rempe is the senior economist for Nebraska Farm Bureau. Rempe’s background in agricultural economics, years of experience in advocating at the state capitol, and a firm grasp of issues allow him to quantify the fiscal impact of a regulatory proposal, and provide an in-depth examination of key issues affecting Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers.