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Farm Bill Information Update Washington Factsheet

Posted by Blythe Howell | June 27, 2019

The new Farm Bill was signed into law in December 2018.  However, it cannot be fully implemented until USDA establishes rules and policies for implementation.  The final rules are expected to be made public about August 1.  The current Timely Topic outlines some of the changes in the new Farm bill, and issues facing farmers as they approach the September 1 sign-up date.


  • The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 passed Congress and became law in December 2018
  • Its passage was followed by the longest government shutdown in history delaying the rule making process
  • August 1, 2019 is the estimated date for final rules and regulations publication in the Federal Register
  • The announced sign-up opening date for commodity programs is September 1, 2019
  • No ending date for sign-up has been announced

Projected Outlays, FY2019-2028

Pie chart with nutrition at 77%, crop insurance at 9%, commodities at 7%, Conservation at 7%, other programs at 0.49%.
Click photo to enlarge.

2014 Base Acres and Commodity Programs

  • By far wheat has the most base acres in Washington within 2.95 million acres
  • 90% of wheat base is in ARC CO, 6% in PLC and 4% in ARC IC
  • ARC CO payments were large in 2014-2015. PLC Largest in 2016
  • Each county is unique. For Whitman ARC CO paid more. In Columbia PLC paid more
  • 2018 Farm Bill reduces selection risk
  • Initial sign-up for 2019 and 2020, and then annually for 2021 to 2023

Wheat at 2.95 million acres, barley at 0.22 million acres, corn at 0.11 million acres in Washington state.
Whitman county ARC CO bs PLC 2014-2018 combined.
Columbia county ARC CO vs PLC 2014-2018 combined.
Payment formula for PLC and ARC-CO.

  • PLC and ARC CO payment formulas remain the same from 2014 Farm Bill
  • But, yield data used in ARC CO changes from using NASS data to RMA yield data
  • A map study shows most of Washington RMA wheat yields to be slightly less than NASS yields
  • National Farm Bill decision aids will be updated and use RMA yields for sign-up analysis
  • 2018 Farm Bill introduced a reference price escalator for PLC
  • Preliminary estimates indicate that large chickpeas, rapeseed, lentils, and small chickpeas will have higher reference prices due to the escalator in 2019

Declining Trend in ARC CO Revenue

5 year wheat price average on a decline from $6.50 to just above $5.50.

  • 5 year Olympic average prices have a declining trend
  • Declining prices reduce ARC CO county benchmark revenue
  • ARC CO formula further reduces revenue guarantee 14%
  • Analyst predict that more producers will sign-up for PLC
  • PLC uses FSA farm yield
  • Farms use FSA yields > county average yield benefit with PLC
  • Yield update is available with 2019 sign-up
  • Farms need to use the national Farm Bill Decision aids when available to evaluate their farm’s unique attributes for yield update and program choice at sign-up

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