(AMHERST, Mass.), Nov. 10, 2015 – USDA Massachusetts Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Jon Niedzielski announced that approximately 536 Massachusetts farms who enrolled in the new safety-net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill will soon begin receiving financial assistance for the 2014 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.

USDA Issues Safety-Net Payments to Massachusetts Farmers Facing Market Downturn

(AMHERST, Mass.), Nov. 10, 2015 – USDA Massachusetts Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Jon Niedzielski announced that approximately 536 Massachusetts farms who enrolled in the new safety-net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill will soon begin receiving financial assistance for the 2014 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 new 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 SED Niedzielski. "For example, 10 counties in Massachusetts harvest corn (grain and silage), and corn producers have experienced a 30 percent drop in price below the historical benchmark price established by the PLC program. The county-based option of ARC protects against lower revenue from a combination of price and yield."

"Payments by county can vary because average county yields will differ," said Niedzielski.

Statewide, 413 farms participated in ARC-County and 123 farms participated in PLC. 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 http://www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc and http://www.fsa.usda.gov/ma.

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