Choose the right Farm Bill program

MSU Extension educators have created videos to guide you through this important decision

A guy doing work on a tablet.

The deadline to sign up for a farm bill program is approaching quickly. You want to make the best decision possible but are still wondering what is the best fit for your farm. You may have missed the MSU Extension meeting in your area and the suggestions you’ve heard or read have still left you confused on which program to choose. Perhaps you had extremely low yields, or prevented planting or you have several farms in different counties. Perhaps you found out that many farms are signing up for ARC-IC and you are wondering if you could benefit from getting your farms into that program.

The MSU Extension Farm Business Management team has created a series of videos to help you run some calculations and estimate how much each program might pay in your specific situation. Watch one or more of them, depending on time availability and on the specifics of your farm. Apart from a couple hours of your time, you will need internet access and a computer with Excel.

Webinar part 1 MSU Professor Dr. Aleks Shaefer gives introduction to the program.

Webinar part 2 Outlines the first decision you need to make: whether to update PLC Yield.

Webinar part 3 Reviews the second decision- which farm bill program to sign up for.

Webinar par 4 Extension Educator Florencia Colella explains what information you need in order to calculate your program payments.

Webinar part 5 A walk-through on how to use the calculator developed by Senior Extension Educator Roger Betz.

Webinar part 6 Extra steps to take if you have irrigation in your farm.

Webinar part 7 Extra steps to take if you had prevented planting acres on your farm.

Webinar part 8 A deeper look into the ARC-IC program, specifically how it combines enrolled farms together and calculates a lump sum payment.

This last video outlines a potential benefit of choosing ARC-IC for farms that would not generate payments through theprogram on their own. Farms with bad yields or with 100% prevented plant acres could offset farms with average or even higher yields. Determining farm bill payments from enrolling in ARC-IC will take some additional time and effort, but the increase in payments could be significant for farms with prevent plant acres.

The difference between signing up for the right or the wrong program may be in the tens of thousands of dollars. MSU Extension hopes that you can make the most out of these videos. If you have suggestions about them, contact Florencia Colella at

Michigan State University Extension has many other resources available, including bookkeeping and financial analysis tools to help you with the important decisions you must make as a farm manager. Many of these resources can be found at the MSU Extension Farm Management website:  Contact your Farm Business Management Extension Educator if you need help finding the right resources for your situation.

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