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said he would like to see the program move to a county lev- el trigger that is more responsive to local needs. A move to a county level trigger, however, will increase the cost of the program at a time when large budget defi cits will make the desired change a long shot in the next farm bill debate.


As Congress approaches 2012 Farm Bill discussions, an expir- ing SURE program that is one of 37 without baseline funding is alarming to many producers. When a program has no base- line funding, simply continuing the program will be consid- ered an increase in the cost for the next farm bill.


“The story we need to be telling Congress is the fact that we haven’t used all the money allocated to agriculture,” Rose said. “We use our money conservatively and need to take this important message to the next farm bill discussion.”


Despite Rose’s concerns, he strongly believes in the need for these programs. As a member of his local bank’s board of di- rectors, he said he was pleased to see many producers apply their SURE payment directly to their debt—a small measure to keep their livelihood going.


Stewart too recognizes the need for ACRE and SURE and said if it were not for the help and guidance from FSA direc- tors, he might have missed out on the opportunity to partici- pate—an opportunity farmers must realize is still available before the current farm bill period ends. Even though there are still risks involved by signing up, the reward could be great for the two-year period that remains.


“The story we need to be telling


Congress is the fact that we haven’t used all the money allocated to agriculture.”


Francie Tolle, executive director for Oklahoma FSA, said with all the talk about the next farm bill, farmers should not lose sight of the current farm bill and producers need to stay on top of how the ACRE program might work for their indi- vidual farming operations.


Chris Cogburn, NSP strategic business director, said the ad- vantage of signing up for ACRE later in the farm bill period is the fact that producers will only have to recover direct payments for crop years 2011 and 2012 because 2009 and 2010 are already in the bank. He also said that because pric- es have gone up, the ACRE guarantee has gone up, as well.


ACRE Decision Aid is a tool available to assist farm opera- tors and landlords in analyzing the ACRE versus DCP de- cision. The ACRE Decision Aid tool uses a farms’ data and simulates the farm for 500 diff erent possible yields and pric- es based on historical risk for these variables, as well as the risk for state yields and national prices. This aid can be ac- cessed at htt p://www.afpc.tamu.edu/models/acre/.


Tolle said if farmers sustained crop losses, they need to make certain they are paying att ention to SURE sign-up deadlines as well, an additional reason farmers must keep in mind remaining advantages of the current farm bill.


The 2009 SURE sign-up begins Jan. 10, 2011, and can be a signifi cant help to farmers that sustained losses in previous crop years.


For more information on the ACRE and SURE programs, farmers are encouraged to visit local FSA offi ces or go to www.fsa.usda.gov.


SORGHUM Grower Winter 2011 7


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