Friday, October 24, 2014

Farmers Face Critical Farm Bill Decisions; four MU November meetings offer help

Four meetings will be held in November to explain the decisions required of all participants in USDA farm bill programs.

  • Nov. 10, Miner-Sikeston area, Miner Convention Center, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., David Reinbott, MU Extension Center, Benton.
  • Nov. 11, Macon, Macon County Expo Center, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Karisha Devlin, MU Extension Center, Edina.
  • Nov. 11, St. Joseph, Missouri Western State University, Blum Union, 4525 Downs Drive, 5-9 p.m., Bob Kelly, MU Extension Center, St. Joseph.
  • Nov. 12, Sedalia, State Fair Community College, Thompson Conference Center, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Brent Carpenter, MU Extension Center, Sedalia.

“Critical decisions must be made that have long-term income impacts on farms,” says Scott Brown, University of Missouri economist.

“Unlike previous farm bills, where it was a matter of just signing up, this law requires farmers to choose between options.”

The meetings are of interest to farmers and landowners, Brown says.

Date, place, time and local organizers:
All meetings are free.

RSVP by Nov. 5 to the MU Conference Office at 866-682-6663 (toll-free).

Reallocation and program sign-up at local Farm Service Agency offices begin now, but won’t wrap up until next year, Brown says. But homework will be required before sign-up.

First priority is an option to update crop yields and reallocate the base for each farm. Recently, FSA sent farmers a record of past figures. That includes planted and harvested acres. Every farmer should check to see if forms received are correct.

Next, farmers must decide which program option works best for their farm.

At the meetings, farmers will hear two experts who developed nationally accepted farm bill decision tools. They are Joe Outlaw of Texas A&M University and Pat Westhoff of the MU Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute.

Missouri farmers should mark the dates and sign up for one of the meetings.

The programs are sponsored by MU Extension, Missouri Soybeans, Missouri Corn, Missouri Farm Bureau and FCS Financial.

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