The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized and made updates to these two
USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) programs. ARC provides income
support payments on historical base acres when actual crop
revenue declines below a specified guarantee level.
PLC program provides income support payments on historical base
acres when the price for a covered commodity falls below its
effective reference price.
Covered commodities include barley, canola, large and small
chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils,
mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain
rice, medium grain rice (which includes short grain rice),
safflower seed, seed cotton, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed
Updated provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill allow producers with an
interest in a farm to enroll and elect coverage in crop-by-crop
ARC-County or PLC, or ARC-Individual for the entire farm, for
program year 2019. The election applies to both the 2019 and
2020 crop years. If a 2019 election is not submitted by the
deadline of March 15, 2020, the election defaults to the current
elections of the crops on the farm established under the 2014
Farm Bill. No payments will be earned in 2019 if the election
For crop years 2021 through 2023, producers will have an
opportunity to make new elections. Farm owners cannot enroll in
either program unless they have a share interest in the farm.
Once the 2019 election and enrollment are completed, producers
on the farm for 2020 can complete an enrollment contract for the
2020 crop year beginning Oct. 7, 2019 and ending June 30, 2020.
Although 2019 enrollment begins Sept. 3, 2019 and
must occur first, a producer waiting until Oct. 7, 2019 to
enroll is afforded the opportunity to enroll in either program
for both 2019 and 2020 during the same office visit.
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During this time, farm owners have a one-time
opportunity to update PLC payment yields that takes effect beginning
with crop year 2020. If the owner accompanies the producer to the
office, the yield update may be completed during the same office
In partnership with USDA, the University of Illinois and Texas A&M
University are offering web-based decision tools to assist producers
in making informed, educated decisions using crop data specific to
their respective farming operations. These decision tools can be
found at fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc.
Producers are reminded that enrolling in ARC or PLC programs can
impact eligibility for some forms of crop insurance. Producers who
elect and enroll in PLC also have the option of purchasing
Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) through the USDA Risk Management
Agency (RMA). Producers of covered commodities who elect ARC are
ineligible for SCO on their planted acres.
Upland cotton farmers who choose to enroll seed cotton base acres in
ARC or PLC are ineligible for the stacked income protection plan (STAX)
on their planted cotton acres. To be eligible for STAX coverage,
producers must not enroll their seed cotton base acres into the ARC
or PLC programs.
For more information on ARC and PLC, download our program fact sheet
or our 2014-2018 farm bills comparison fact sheet, or visit
[USDA Farm Service Agency]