Category: Broadcast Video

We started up the irrigation tower this week. I talk about all the things we did to get it running. And what is left to do.

My marketing plan for 2016.

The following video is about ARC-County Farm Program.

There is a problem in how multi tract multiple county farms are paid.  They are paid at the rate of the county they are administered in, not the county the tract of ground is actually located in.  This could pay you more or pay you less depending on the individual county rate.


Farm Service Agency

Lets face it, the ARC program is complicated.  Payment rates and coverage levels are figured on each individual county.  FSA farms often times consist of multiple tracts and they are often in more than one county.  Here is where the problem is at.  If you pay at the rate the farm is administered in and not where each individual tract is located then payment rates are not correct.

USDA/FSA probably just needs to re-write the software but that costs money.  Money that has already been spent implementing the program and is there no more.  This falls directly on whoever was at the top making decisions about how these programs were administered.  This is why you need a couple farmers at least in the top decision making roles, especially ones who have had experience in farm programs, writing or helping to write the rules.

Farm Programs

My advice is whether or not you received a post card telling you about this and what your options are to go check it out at your county office if you have multiple county FSA farms.  This also stresses the need for Congress and the administration to make sure there is enough money to implement programs correctly.  So much money is wasted on “feel good” stuff and the actual commercial production agricultural programs suffer from lack of funds to administer them.

I talk about computer software upgrades.  Some of the problems are on how FSA keeps historical information at the tract level on each farm.  This information and the desire to keep it causes problems every time you try to improve both the hardware and software of USDA.  Maybe at some point in the future we need to just move forward “leave” the old data behind and start all over building a new data base.

FSA Deadline

For right now you can request a “special” waiver and this has to be SIGNED BY APRIL 15th and get 2014 and 2015 payments done at the correct levels.  For 2016 and beyond FSA is suggesting that you move the tracts in different counties back to their “home” county to avoid this in the future.  Well this is a step back in customer service.  This means for all the years FSA said you could move farms to fit your business patterns and where you did all your business to now go travel around for a couple days to visit multiple county offices.  Confuse your landlord into having to sign more papers not less.  Increasing the numbers of FSA farms and trips, and office visits, etc., etc., etc.  Just fix the software to pay at the tract level not the farm level.  Somebody was not thinking here.

I also suggest that the average Washington D.C. USDA government employee has no idea how commercial production agricultural actually operates.  Heck, most of the average politicians and political aids don’t really understand commercial production agriculture.  Some do, most of our rural Congressmen and aids do, but the vast majority from cities and suburbs don’t.

Direct Payments

My advice to agricultural producer groups in the future is make it real simple because we all are real stupid at times.  And, complication costs money to implement.  I was a big fan of direct payments.  I discuss that at some length.  Yes, we were doing some things to qualify for those payments.  We were complying with the environmental rules of wetlands and conservation compliance and we were required to report acres to qualify for the payments.  They were easy to make, easy to administer and understandable.  Maybe that is why they were a target.  Remember money to administer a new farm program comes from the pool of money available to farmers and ranchers for the programs.  Less is more.

I also discuss what I think is the coming battle for continuation of farm programs, especially crop insurance.

Maybe I should just do a full blown podcast on this.  Thanks for listening, all for now.

This live discussion must have hit some nerves. I have had the most interaction on it than any other. Tell me what you think.



You can watch my live talks every morning 7:30 CST on the Periscope app or Twitter @BillGraff

Craziness continues. This is a periscope video from this morning.

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