In lieu of the new Farm Bill, the federal government provided a grant to develop a national farm bill decision aid. Two web-based tools have been developed to help landowners/farmers make educated decisions for their farms. One from Texas A&M University and the other through the University of Illinois. Both decision aids have their positives and negatives; The Illinois’ decision tool has a sample farm for each county, but only lists peanuts, corn, soybeans, and cotton. While Texas A&M’s decision tool requires more input it gives the user a better look at what decisions need to be made on their individual farm.
I am here at the Mitchell Co. Extension office to be a service and resource to anyone in the community who may need help navigating the website. As well as helping anyone make a decision on whether to reallocate or retain their bases, and which program to use for each covered commodity.
Data needed to use the decision aids:
1. FSA-156EZ form: farm number, base acres as of Sept. 2013 (excluding cotton “generic” base), CC yields, and planted acres
2. Approved APH production & Yield Report: provided by RMA/Crop Insurance Agent; rate (actual) yield, APH yield, and actual planted acres for up to ten years (2003-2013).
Note* Only planting history and yields for 2009-2012 are used in determining base reallocation.
Below I have three screenshots from the Texas A&M decision aid:
1. The first screenshot is of the log in/register page. Please remember to register as a multi-user, so you can share your results with the Extension office.
2. Second Screenshot: After inputting the data for each covered commodity, click on the Base Acre Reallocation & PLC/ARC Decision Aid link on the right of the screen. You may choose to run the program using FAPRI or USDA numbers. FAPRI pulls its market analysis monthly, so the data is a more reliable option in the opinion of UGA Extension Economists.
3. The third screenshot is of a fabricated farm number with the final analysis using the FAPRI numbers; according to the analysis this farm should reallocate its bases, and choose PLC for peanuts.
Please give me a call if you have any questions about using the program or how to interpret the results. Remember this a farm by farm decision, so one farm can be signed up for PLC while another is under ARC-CO.