Making a Decision on the Farm Bill: One Farmer’s Reactions in Nebraska

The Farm Bill deadline is coming up at the end of February, and I think most people are up and counting on the ARC option. But the bigger question is whether or not to change any of the base acres. Everybody has to update yields, but it’s probably split down the middle as far as whether they’ll change base acres or not.

By updating base acres, you’re able to get your program payments more aligned to what it is you’re actually doing now—in terms of prices, it reflects better. However, there’s still better payments for some of the crops that are no longer planted — the oats, the wheats, the sorghum. Those still actually pay out pretty decent because most people are just looking in regards to corn and soybeans. So one option pays a little better, but one is more reflective on what you’re doing now. So it all depends on what happens over the next five years. Personally, I’m going with ARC. And at this point I don’t think I’m going to change any of the base acres.

The county extension offices are really the ones doing the most of the educating — they’re having the most number of meetings. There are other small, private companies that are doing their own meetings, but for the most part, it’s county extensions.