What if CRP Acres Increased?

ag trends. agricultural economic insights

by David A. Widmar

The Conservation Reserve Program (or CRP) has been in the news lately as members of Congress have called for an increase in acres. This was no surprise to us as we’ve previously written about trends in the CRP program and noted that conditions seem ripe for an expansion (here and here). Furthermore, former Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was quoted last year saying Congress would likely face pressure to “…rethink the cap on CRP.”

Given the latest CRP conversation, this week’s post takes an updated look at CRP trends and walks through a simple thought experiment to provide insights on what a reduction in U.S. crop production acres might look like. Continue reading

ARC-CO Revenue Guarantees Decline Throughout Much of the U.S.

by Brent Gloy

Last week we looked at how benchmark or Olympic average yields have changed since the start of the ARC-CO program.  This week we will examine how ARC-CO revenue guarantees have changed across the country.  Again, we will see that the results differ widely across the country.  Continue reading

ARC-CO Yield Guarantees Increase Across Much of the Country

by Brent Gloy

Direct farm program payments have again become a critical component of net farm income.  In 2016 direct farm program payments are forecast to account for $13 billion of the sector’s $68 billion (19%) of net farm income.  At $5.9 billion the ARC-CO program is by far the largest category of direct farm program payments.

As we have discussed before, the price guarantees of the ARC-CO program have already begun to decline and this decline will likely accelerate for the 2017 crop year.  However, ARC-CO is a revenue based program, so guarantees are also dependent upon county level yield histories.  Given that the U.S. has harvested three very large corn and soybean crops in a row, we thought it would be interesting to see how the county level yields have changed over the course of the program.  Continue reading