Congress passed and President Trump signed the New 2018 Farm Bill months ago. It has taken quite some time for the USDA to write the rules to implement the new Farm Bill. Now farmers have until March 15, 2020 to sign up for the New Farm Bill, retroactively for the 2019 crop year and for the upcoming 2020 crop year. The New 2018 Farm Bill did reauthorize the ARC and PLC programs from the previous Farm Bill.

Farmers will need to pick either the ARC Program or the PLC Program in the New Farm Bill. So that farmers can make an informed decision on which program to choose the Minnesota Farm Service Agency and University of Minnesota Extension Service have scheduled 46 educational meetings all around Minnesota. There is no cost to attend and you do not have to pre-register, just go to the one most convenient for you.

All the educational meetings will be held this month and in January. Details on the educational meetings can be found at the web site: z.umn.edu/2018FarmBill. Notice all letters are lower case except the F and B in Farm Bill. There is one major change from the previous Farm Bill. Remember in the previous Farm Bill you chose ARC or PLC for a farm and that was for the duration of the Farm Bill.

In the New 2018 Farm Bill you choose ARC or PLC for the 2019 and 2020 crop years. The final 3 years of the 2018 Farm Bill you can decide each year which program you want to sign up for. Please attend one of the educational meetings, be informed and know which program you want for each crop and farm when you go to sign up.

County Farm Service Agency staff have a lot of farmers to get signed up in a short amount of time. They will of course answer any questions you have but I am sure they will not recommend which program you sign up for.