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USDA issues safety-net payments to Ohio farmers facing market downturn

COLUMBUS, OH -- U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Ohio Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Steven Maurer announced that as of Nov. 3 approximately 66,718 Ohio farms who enrolled in the new safety-net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill have begun receiving financial assistance for the 2014 crop year.

Unlike the old direct payments program, which provided funds in good years and bad years, these new programs only provide financial assistance when prices or revenues drop below normal. For example, nationwide, farms participating in ARC-County that are receiving payments experienced a $20 billion drop in revenues relative to the historical benchmark.

"Funds provided by the ARC-County program can vary from county to county", said SED Maurer.NOTE: The 2014 Farm Bill requires ARC-County payments to be calculated using the national average market year price (which does not vary by county), and the average county yield (which varies by county). This creates county-by-county differences in payment rates. The yield data comes from surveys conducted by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the national standard that uses the highest-precision statistical procedures available. Where that data does not exist, the next strongest data is used: county-level crop insurance data from the Risk Management Agency. If that data does not exist, the next strongest data is used: NASS district data. Where NASS district data doesn't exist, the FSA State Committees provide data.

"Because the new programs are designed as financial assistance for prices and revenues lower than normal, not all producers will receive a payment, as occurred with the old direct payments program", said SED Maurer. ARC/PLC payments are designed to help with unexpected changes in the marketplace, and to supplement other assistance programs, such as crop insurance.

To learn more about the data used in calculating payments, how payments are calculated, crop-specific and state-specific information, please visit our website at