Farm Bill decision-aid Workshop set For Jan. 21 In San Angelo

Jan 14, 2015

By Steve Byrns

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will conduct a farm bill decision aid-workshop from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Jan. 21 at the Region 15 Education Center, 612 S. Irene St. in San Angelo.

“This workshop is specifically tailored to producers who don’t have Internet access, are uncomfortable with the data entry process or with interpreting the generated results from that data entry,” said Bill Thompson, AgriLife Extension economist at San Angelo and the workshop’s main speaker.

The new farm bill eliminated many of the commodity programs producers were familiar with and had used for years, Thompson said. This new program gives producers the ability to choose between three distinctly different commodity programs in addition to possibly reallocating crop base acres and updating program yields.

“The details of these programs can be complex to comprehend and very difficult to work through to determine which program best addresses the risk-management need of each farm,” Thompson said. “This is why the Agriculture and Food Policy Center in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University has developed an online producer decision aid, specifically for helping producers with these options. The decision aid is available at .

“The decision aid also requires a lot of historical data, which is readily available from their crop insurance agent and the FSA office. The data entry process is relatively simple and the results are available almost instantly, allowing producers to run multiple scenarios quickly to determine which option best fits their respective operation.”

Thompson said through this hands-on workshop, producers will enter actual production data and begin to evaluate their choices from among the Price Loss Coverage, or PLC, program and two distinctly different Agricultural Risk Coverage, or ARC, programs. With this information, Thompson said producers will be able to sign up their farms at their respective Farm Service Agency office.

The workshop is free, but participants are asked to RSVP by Jan. 20 by calling the AgriLife Extension office in Tom Green County at 325-659-6524.