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Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics


Panel Discussion at Farm Science Review to Focus on New Programs in the Farm Bill

Sep. 10, 2014

As growers consider their options under the new provisions of the 2014 farm bill, economists and policy experts from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences discuss what the changes mean for farmers during this year’s Farm Science Review at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center near London, Ohio.

The panel discussion, “Farm Program Choices for the 2014 Farm Bill,” will be moderated by Matthew Roberts, an Ohio State University Extension economist, Sept. 16 from 10-11 a.m. in the Tobin Building at the Review.

The discussion will feature Carl Zulauf, an economist in the college’s Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, Barry Ward, production business management leader for OSU Extension, and Jim Mintert, director of the Center for Commercial Agriculture at Purdue University.

With the passage of the farm bill, which authorizes U.S. nutrition and agricultural programs through 2018, comes major changes to the safety net programs that crop producers across the country rely on for support, Zulauf said.

“This is an opportunity for producers to think strategically about the farm, its cash flow, its exposure to risk, and the means available to manage the risk,” he said. “The confluence of a lower price environment and the farm program decision provides a meaningful opportunity to consider your objectives for the farm.”

The discussion aims to help farmers and others working in agriculture understand the new farm programs in the 2014 farm bill. The new legislation ends direct payment subsidies and relies on farmers to choose between several new commodity programs: the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) county level program, the ARC individual farm program, and the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program. Associated with this decision is a new insurance program, the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO).

The ARC programs replace the Average Crop Revenue Enhancement Program while PLC replaces the price counter-cyclical program. The USDA continues to roll out the rules for these programs.

“Growers and producers will find the panel discussion beneficial because in addition to providing an overview of the new programs, we will focus on considerations that farmers will want to make as they decide how to move forward with their farm program decisions,” said Zulauf. “The potential for large program payments exist, which means that the decisions that farmers will make could be very important, specifically as a source of cash in a low-price year.”

Farm bill program enrollment will be effective for five years, which is the life of the current legislation, Roberts said. This factor is also instrumental in ensuring that crop producers are fully educated to make the decisions that best support them.

“There are three options that farmers can choose, but even in those choices there are a lot of decisions and electives for farmers,” Roberts said. “Additionally, in making a decision, farmers are making a five-year long choice.

“Thus, it is critically important that farmers understand their options and how they could affect a farm in different scenarios going forward.” 

Sponsored by CFAES, the Review features educational workshops, presentations and demonstrations delivered by experts from OSU Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, which are the outreach and research arms, respectively, of the college.

The Review’s Schedule of Events can be found at

Farm Science Review is known nationally as Ohio’s premier agricultural event. It annually draws more than 130,000 farmers, growers, producers and agricultural enthusiasts. An estimated 620 exhibitors with some 4,000 product lines will set up shop at the three-day farm show, an increase from 608 exhibitors last year, organizers said.

This year, the Review is also celebrating the 10-year anniversary of its partnership with Purdue University Extension. Educators and researchers from Purdue will also present educational workshops.

Review pre-show tickets are $7 and are available for purchase at all OSU Extension county offices, many local agribusinesses, and also online at Tickets are $10 at the gate. Children 5 and younger are admitted free.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 16-17 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 18.

More information can be found at

September 10, 2014