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Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Contributor

Why you didn't sign up for AC RE

The university boys have come up with a study that shows why only 8% of farmers with 13% of base acres signed up for ACRE compared with the existing direct and counter cyclical program.  It's an interesting study that is worth a quick read.

 

http://www.farmgate.illinois.edu/archive/2010/08/why_did_farmers.html

 

The summary doesn't really include all the reasons given, so I'm not sure it's a good wrap up.

"Summary:
Many suggestions were offered when less than 10% of farmers enrolled less than 15% of farmland into the ACRE program in August of 2009. One of the significant issues was the extensive need for farmers to learn about the intricacies of the ACRE program, and many did not. While most farmers do not like the risk without the ACRE program, they did not understand the nature of the ACRE program, did not understand how it worked, and did not feel they had the information to understand it."

 

Further, the paper doesn't get at what I think is a major reason I didn't sign up.  That is, as I get older and can see retirement down the road, I am less and less inclined to get the government involved in farming and I see ACRE as more involvement than the old program.  Maybe I'm wrong, but that's how I see it.  More, the way the markets had been I wasn't so sure I needed anything better than the old program as a safety net.

 

I did some tiling this year and of course could have gotten the government to cost share it but I just wrote the check myself.  I put the tile in exactly like I wanted it without having to explain or beg some kid fresh out of college who wasn't even raised on a farm and who only knew how to read some tables, charts and graphs.

 

No, part of the reason I didn't sign up for ACRE was my perception that the government got more into my business with ACRE.  If times were so rough that I had to have ACRE to survive, I'd have signed up but my judgment was that things weren't that rough.

 

Now, read the paper and see if they got it right on why you didn't sign up for acre.  Most of us didn't.

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15 Replies
4wd
Senior Contributor

Re: Why you didn't sign up for AC RE

There was enough info given out on the  ACRE farm program to make a decision.

 

The reasons are clear for me, why give up a bird in the hand for one in the bush? And, you are signing up all farms, not for one year, but for several years. So, if you want to opt out after a year or two, forget it baby, you are stuck with ACRE.

 

-I would offer the ACRE farm program to the budget cutters knives, in return they would save the others already in place.

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ag678
Veteran Contributor

Re: Why you didn't sign up for AC RE

Payment limitations.  There is a slim chance you could see ldp's again and today it doesn't seem possible who knows what can happen with a long term contract. 

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idalivered
Advisor

Re: Why you didn't sign up for AC RE

I had one landlord that went with me to an fsa sponsored meeting that did a great job of explaining how the program works. (i really can't recall all the intricacies now) As we left he said "if it's all the same to you, let's not signup".  Landlord doesn't want to: good reason. I have 3 other elderly (older than me)  landlords that I just didn't want to attempt to explain acre to. In the end I signed up what I own and left the rented land out. Kind of hedged myself to be partly wrong or partly right. I haven't heard of any pending acre payments coming my way.

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mike se il
Advisor

Re: Why you didn't sign up for AC RE

I saw most of my reasons stated already

 

did not feel they had the information to understand it.

I am less and less inclined to get the government involved in farming

why give up a bird in the hand for one in the bush?

Landlord doesn't want to

 

I felt the folks explaining it really did not understand it, and there was no way I could accurately explain it to my landowners. As I get older I really like simpler, and ACRE was anything but simpler.  It looked like another government program guaranteed to make a liar out of you.

 

I know, that has a conspiratorial twist to it.  But it is getting to the point I am having trouble signing these papers in good faith because I do not understand all the intricacies of the programs.  I remember one time refusing to sign all the papers at the ASCS (THAT shows my age) until they gave me a copy of every refererence on the form. I forget the exact wording, but things like "by signing agree to comply with  ... "  There were a few years the lawyers worked overtime on the forms.  My CED told me if I wanted them they would get them, but I better bring a hand truck to haul them to the car.  I relented, but I wasn't happy signing something that was incomplete like that.  ACRE is worse.

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kyu2852570
Veteran Contributor

Re: Why you didn't sign up for AC RE

for me I like to take out a loan on corn in storage, and acre would reduce my loan rate alot,  and if corn ever did get back to where it was 10 years ago when we used ldps,  I am confident I could survive with the $1.97 loan rate and playing the ldp game, but I know I wouldnt survive with the $1.34 loan rate or whatever it is under acre.  And the $60,000 capped payout it would give me each year on the way down wouldnt be nearly enough for my farm at all.  So to answer your question if corn went down and stayed down I know I would be broke with the lower ldp rate.

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k-289
Senior Advisor

Re: Why you didn't sign up for AC RE

Who was sec. of ag when this acre deal was put together???????????

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Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Contributor

Re: Why you didn't sign up for AC RE

Did Sec Ag have much to do with it?  I don't know.  I thought it was Harkin in the Senate who ramrodded this thing.

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buckfarmer
Senior Contributor

Re: Why you didn't sign up for AC RE

I thought you had to put all your farms in or none.  Not to mention all the pasture that we under graze on our home farm.  It would be a waste of time to have it in any kind of program.

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ksfarmboy
Contributor

Re: Why you didn't sign up for AC RE

4wd, you need a couple of clarifications. You do not have to sign up all your farms. It goes by FSN#, so that means if you are like the average guy and have about 5 different FSN#s you can sign up for 3 and not the other two.

Also, not sure why you guys want to cut it from the budget. ACRE is not pulling down the Ag department's budget. It has barely paid out in many states. Besides, the nutrition programs from our President are pulling down more of the Ag department's budget.

I would believe the reason for the low signup numbers is lack of education on the program by us farmers, it is change for farmers (let's face it, we do not like change, and the USDA has done a horrible job of explaining the program. Those would be my top three reasons why ACRE has low numbers signed up.

As far as a bird in the hand, What do you really think you have in the current Counter Cyclical Program & LDP programs????? ACRE will blow those two programs out of the water when the time comes and that maybe this year for several states.

 

Safe Harvest My Friends!

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