USDA Issues Safety-net and Conservation Payments to Maine Farmers

USDA Maine Farm Service Agency (FSA) executive director, Dave Lavway, announced that approximately $1,524,159 will be paid to Maine farms that enrolled in agriculture risk coverage ARC) and price loss coverage (PLC) for 2017 market downturns.Additionally, Maine FSA will distribute $158,563 in conservation reserve program (CRP) rental payments to landowners for their commitment to conservation stewardship.

“ARC and PLC were authorized by the 2014 farm bill to protect farmers against unexpected drops in crop prices or revenues,” Lavway said. “These payments help provide reassurance to Maine farm families who continue to persevere, even in this tough farm economy.”

According to Lavway, PLC payments have triggered for 2017 barley, canola, corn, grain sorghum, wheat and other crops. In the next few months, payments will be triggered for rice, chickpeas, sunflower seeds,flaxseed, mustard seed, rapeseed, safflower, crambe, and sesame seed. Producers with bases enrolled inARC for 2017 crops can visit for updated crop yields, prices, revenue and payment rates. In Maine, 14 counties have experienced a drop in price and/or revenues below the benchmark price established by the ARC or PLC programs and will receive payments.

“it’s important to remember that ARC and PLC payments by county can vary because average county yields will differ,” Lavway said.

Also, this week, USDA will begin issuing 2018 CRP payments to support voluntary conservation efforts on private lands. In Maine, 300 landowners will receive compensation for their efforts to improve water quality, reduce soil erosion and improve wildlife habitat.

“Since its inception in the 1980s, CRP has built upon the voluntary participation of farmers and landowners to take sensitive land out of production and establish land cover to improve the environment,” Lavway said.