There’s still time to sign up for U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) program, but you’d better hurry. March 5 is the last day to enroll. However, you have until March 15 to make changes to the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) elections for the 2021 crop year.
The QLA program is funded by the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020, and it provides assistance to producers who suffered eligible crop quality losses due to natural disasters in 2018 and 2019. Crop quality losses occurring after harvest due to deterioration in storage or those that could have been mitigated are not eligible.
QLA assistance is based on a producer’s harvested affected production of an eligible crop, which must have had at least a five percent quality loss reflected through a quality discount; or for forage crops, a nutrient loss, such as total digestible nutrients. Moisture discounts are not considered an eligible quality loss. Losses must have been a result of a qualifying disaster (hurricane, excessive moisture, flood, qualifying drought, tornado, typhoon, volcanic activity, snowstorm, or wildfire) or related condition that occurred in calendar years 2018 and/or 2019. Grant County received a disaster declaration for excessive moisture in 2019.
ARC provides income support payments on historical base acres when actual crop revenue declines below a specified guaranteed level. PLC provides income support payments on historical base acres when the effective price for a covered commodity falls below its reference price. Producers can elect coverage and enroll in crop-by-crop ARC-County or PLC or ARC-Individual for the entire farm.
Last year, FSA conducted the ARC/PLC signup for the 2019-2020 crop years. Although election changes for 2021 are optional, enrollment (signed contract) is required for each year of the program. If a producer has a multi-year contract on a farm and makes an election change for 2021, it is necessary to sign a new contract. The final date to make contract changes and new elections is also March 15.
For more information about FSA programs, contact the Grant County FSA office at 605.432.6570, ext. 2 or visit www.farmers.gov.