The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, enacted on Jan. 2, 2013, amends the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 and provides for a one-year extension of the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program. To be eligible for direct and ACRE payments for crop year 2013, producers must elect and enroll their farms in ACRE on or before June 3, 2013.
Producers who elect and enroll a farm in ACRE agree to: (1) forgo counter-cyclical payments, (2) a 20-percent reduction in their direct payments, and (3) a 30-percent reduction in the marketing assistance loan (MAL) rates for all commodities produced on the farm. The loan deficiency payment (LDP) rate for commodities produced on farms enrolled in ACRE must include the 30 percent reduction from the MAL rate before determining the LDP rate.
To be eligible for ACRE, owners, operators, landlords, tenants or sharecroppers must:
- Share in the risk of producing a crop on base acres on a farm enrolled in ACRE, and be entitled to share in the crop available for marketing from the base acres or would have shared had a crop been produced;
- Annually report the use of the farm's cropland acreage;
- Annually report production to FSA by July 15, 2014. Failure to do so may result in ineligibility.
- Comply with highly erodible land conservation and wetland conservation requirements on all of their land;
- Comply with average adjusted gross income limitation provisions
- Meet requirements to be considered actively engaged in farming;
- Comply with planting flexibility requirements;
- Use the base acres for agricultural or related activities and;
- Protect all base acres from erosion, including providing sufficient cover as determined necessary by the county FSA committee, and controlling weeds.
The following planted or considered planted crops may be eligible for ACRE payments:
- Rice (short/medium and long grain);
- Other oilseeds: canola, crambe, flaxseed, mustard seed, rapeseed, safflower, sesame seed and sunflower seed;
- Dry peas, lentils and small and large chickpeas (garbanzo beans).
Farms with 10 or less base acres are not eligible for ACRE, except for farms whose owners are socially disadvantaged or limited resource farmers or ranchers.
ACRE Election and Enrollment - 2013
The sign-up period to enroll begins on February 19, 2013 and ends on June 3, 2013. Farms that are enrolled in the ACRE program cannot receive counter-cyclical payments.
Farms that have enrolled in the Direct and Counter-Cyclical Program (DCP) for 2013 may elect to switch to ACRE, but must do so on or before June 3, 2013.
All producers may choose to enroll in either DCP or ACRE for the 2013 crop year. This means that producers who enrolled in ACRE for 2012 may elect to enroll in DCP in 2013, or vice versa.
Maximum Payment Amounts
Direct payments are limited to $40,000 per person or entity minus the 20 percent direct payment reduction, and ACRE payments are limited to $65,000 plus the 20 percent direct payment reduction amount. The limitation is applied by attributing both the amounts received directly by entities and persons, and indirect amounts received through entities
Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)
Persons or legal entities whose average non-farm AGI exceeds $500,000 are not eligible for direct or ACRE payments.
Persons or legal entities whose average farm AGI exceeds $750,000 are not eligible for direct payments under the ACRE Program.
Persons or legal entities whose average total AGI exceeds $1,000,000 are not eligible for direct payments.
Yields for ACRE payments are based on an “Olympic” average of a combination of producer yields and average yields for the county for the five most recent crop years (2008 through 2012). If a producer certifies yield data for a year and it is higher than the county average, that yield will be used to calculate the ACRE farm yield (Benchmark Farm Yield
Direct payments are based on the farm’s base acres and program yields for covered commodities and peanuts. Direct payments for ACRE farms are 20 percent less than the direct payments for DCP farms. Similar to DCP, payment amounts are reduced if fruits or vegetables are planted on base acres, or the acres are used for non-agricultural purposes.
ACRE payments are revenue-based payments and are tied to crop production and the National Average Market Price for planted, and considered planted, covered commodity crops or peanuts on the farm. ACRE payments can only be issued for a crop if two triggers are met for the covered commodity crop or peanuts.
Farm Trigger: The participating farm’s Actual Farm Revenue for the 2013 program year must be less than the Farm ACRE Guarantee.
Payment Acreage Limitation
The maximum ACRE payment acreage is equal to 85 percent of the total planted and considered planted acreage, not to exceed the total amount of base acres on the farm. If the planted and considered planted acreage exceeds 118 percent of the base acreage and there is more than one eligible crop, producers must designate payment acreage for each crop by Sept. 30, 2013.
: DCP and ACRE Payment Comparisons (PDF
, 18 KB)
: 2013 ACRE Payment Calculations (PDF
, 20.7 KB)
: ACRE and DCP Rates (PDF
, 39 KB)
: ACRE 2013 State Guarantee (PDF
, 39 KB)
: ACRE Triggers Payment Calculation for 2013 (PDF
, 69 KB)
: Projected Payment Comparison (PDF
, 47 KB)
: 2013 Program Timeline (PDF
, 47 KB)
Information or Estimations Needed to Project 2013 ACRE Payments (PDF,
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: In previous years, an owner was required to agree to the ACRE election. Is this still required for 2013?
No. Since the decision to participate in ACRE is for 2013 only, the owner does not need to agree. All other signature requirements must be met by June 3, 2013.
Q2: Does a producer have to enroll all farms in ACRE?
No. Election and enrollment for the ACRE Program is on a farm by farm basis.
Q3: Can a farm enroll some base acres and not others?
No, the enrollment is for the farm and all of the base acres.
Q4: Can base acres be established to participate in the ACRE Program?
No. There is no authority to establish base acres to participate in the ACRE Program.
Q5: Is crop insurance or NAP required to receive ACRE payments?
No. There are no risk management purchase requirements for the DCP or the ACRE Programs. However, higher levels of insurance due to higher premiums increases the Farm Acre Guarantee and, thus the probability of meeting the “Farm Trigger.”
Q6: If both state and farm “triggers” are met, will the ACRE payment calculation provide benefits for prevented planted acres of covered commodity crops or peanuts?
Yes. Prevented planted acres are “considered planted.”
Q7: Can ACRE payments be calculated for eligible commodity crops that do not have base acres on the farm?
Yes. ACRE payments are based on planted and considered planted acres of eligible commodity crops, without regard to whether the farm has base acres for that crop. However, the maximum acreage eligible for ACRE payments cannot exceed the total base acres on the farm.
Q8: If the National Average Market Price for a covered commodity crop or peanuts is higher than average, will this result in no ACRE payments?
Not necessarily. Since the ACRE “triggers” are based on revenue (yield and prices) reductions, a significant yield loss for the State could result in ACRE payments.
Q9: If a producer designates payment for a crop, but the crop does not “trigger” payments, are the designated payment acres transferred to another crop?
No. In the event a crop does not trigger the designated payment acres become “unpaid.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all of its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, political beliefs, genetic information, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).
To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.