USDA Provides Funds to Universities and Extension Offices

USDA-300Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last week announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding $6 million to universities and cooperative state extension services to develop online decision tools and other materials and train experts to educate producers about several key farm bill programs. The new Web tools are expected to help farmers and ranchers determine what participation in programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill will mean for their businesses.  The new resources will help farmers and ranchers make an educated choice between the new Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) program and the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program. Using the new online tools, producers will be able to use data unique to their specific farming operations combined with factors like the geographical diversity of crops, soils, weather and climates across the country to test a variety of financial scenarios before officially signing up for the new program options later this year.  New tools will be provided for other programs as well. Sign-up for the newly established Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP) begins late this summer, and enrollment for “buy-up” provisions under the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) will begin early next year.

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