Nancy Ireland, Executive Director for USDA's Farm Service Agency in Clay County, announced that enrollment for the 2009 Direct and Counter-cyclical Payment (DCP) Program for farms with base acres begins today both online and at local USDA service centers and continues until June 1, 2009.
"I encourage all producers to make use of the DCP automated website to sign up for this important program," Ireland said. "This service makes DCP more accessible to the public, and I encourage producers with Internet access to use the system."
However, producers can visit any USDA Service Center or their administratively assigned center, to complete their 2009 DCP contract.
The June 1, 2009, deadline is mandatory for all participants. USDA will not accept any late-filed applications.
The electronic DCP (or eDCP) service saves producers time, reduces paperwork and speeds up contract processing at USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices.
It is available to all producers who are eligible to participate in the DCP Program and can be accessed at www.fsa.usda.gov/dcp.
To access the service, producers must have an active USDA eAuthenticaion Level account, which requires filling out an online registration form at www.eauth.egov.usda.gov followed by a visit to the local USDA Service Center for identity verification.
USDA computes DCP Program payments using base acres and payment yields established for each farm.
Eligible producers receive direct payments at rates established by statute regardless of market prices.
For 2009, eligible producers may request to receive advance direct payments based on 22 percent of the direct payment for each commodity associated with the farm.
USDA will issue advance direct payments beginning December 2008.
Counter-cyclical payment rates vary depending on market prices.
Counter-cyclical payments are issued only when the effective price is the higher of the national average market price received during the 12-marketing year for each covered commodity and the national average rate for a marketing assistance loan for the covered commodity.
Producers who are eligible for the DCP Program will also be eligible to enroll in the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) Program. The enrollment period for the ACRE Program will being in the spring.
Producers may first enroll in the DCP Program, elect to receive advance direct payments and then later modify their enrollment to include the ACRE program or they may wait and elect to enroll in DCP and ACRE at the same time in Spring 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 State price for each eligible commodity.
For the 2009 crop, the two-year price average will be based on the 2007 and 2008 crop years.
An ACRE payment is issued when both the State and the farm have incurred a revenue loss.
The payment is based on 83.3 percent (85 percent in 2012) of the farm's planted acres times the difference between the State ACRE guarantee and the State revenue times the ration of the farm's yield divided by the State expected yield.
The total number of planted acres for which producer may not exceed the total base on the farm. In exchange for participating in ACRE, in addition to not receiving counter-cyclical payments, a farms' direct payment is reduced by 20 percent, and marketing assistance loan rates are reduced by 30 percent.
The decision to enroll in ACRE Program is irrevocable. The owner of the farm and all producers on the farm must agree to enroll in ACRE.
Once enrolled, the farm shall be enrolled for that initial crop year and will remain in ACRE through the 2012 crop year.