Sandra Wick, Agriculture Natural Resources Agent
The 2014 Farm Bill has been on the minds of many producers lately as now they are faced with many decisions with the sign up going on until March 31, 2015. Change is not easy for anyone, and especially if it affects your livelihood and your family. The best advice for any situation is to obtain as much information as you can to help you make the most educated decision. Several options are available and it is important to see which one may fit for your particular situation. Once a commodity program is elected, that farm serial number is locked in for the next 5 years, even if the land changes ownerships or tenants. So this is an important decision that farmers will likely want to take their time evaluating their options.
K-State Research and Extension (KSRE) has an excellent website (www.agmanager.info) with so many resources, free of charge, that are available online for producers. These include fact sheets, publications, and a spreadsheet that can be used as a decision tool to actually plug in your estimated yields and predicted prices to calculate anticipated payments from each of the programs. The publications and fact sheets are updated weekly, whenever new information is received. You can also register for weekly email update notifications directly on the above K-State website. This will keep you informed on the most current, up-to-date changes.
Many educational opportunities are also available in the next couple of months to provide face to face presentations and discussions and to help answer your questions. FSA, Extension and the Kansas Farm Management Association have teamed together for this very important time. Be sure and mark all these educational meetings on your calendar and take the time to participate. Check with your local FSA to see when they will be hosting local meetings in each of your counties.
The Kansas Farm Management Association and K-State Research and Extension will be hosting several Farm Bill informational meetings during mid-December. The following is a list of the meetings scheduled so far:
- Wednesday, December 17 - 10:00 a.m. @ the Smith County Courthouse, Smith Center
- Wednesday, December 17 - 1:30 p.m. @ the United Christian Church, Osborne
- Thursday, December 18, 10:00 a.m. @ Beloit (Location to be announced)
- Thursday, December 18, 1:30 p.m. @ the Community Center in Mankato
- Friday, December 19, 1:30 p.m. @ Community Center in Vesper
KSRE will be hosting 15 regional Farm Bill informational meetings starting in January through mid-February. Be sure and check out www.agmanager.info website for the dates and locations.
So the bottom line is education is the key to making the best decisions.
KSRE 2014 Farm Bill publications located on www.agmanager.info