While most Midwest farmers are working on fall harvest, they are likely thinking about their crop plans for next year. Part of that planning process includes signing up for the federal government's 2010 Direct and Counter-cyclical Program and the Average Crop Revenue Election program. Signup for these two programs has begun and will continue through June 1 of next year.
USDA computes DCP Program payments using base acres and payment yields established for each farm. For 2010, eligible producers may request to receive advance direct payments based on 22% of the direct payment. Those payments will be issued beginning Dec. 1, 2009.
The optional ACRE Program provides a safety net based on state revenue losses and acts in place of the price-based safety net of counter-cyclical payments under DCP. A farm's payment is based on a revenue guarantee calculated using a five-year average state yield and the most recent two-year national price for each eligible commodity. The decision to enroll in the ACRE Program is irrevocable.