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Agricultural News

OSU's Amy Hagerman Talks Policy, Trade, and Reminders for Producers

Tue, 31 Mar 2020 13:01:00 CDT

OSU's Amy Hagerman Talks Policy, Trade, and Reminders for Producers OSU Extension Agricultural and food policy specialist, Amy Hagerman gave an update today during an OSU Webinar.

Hagerman said right now we are in a whole new world when it comes to policy and trade because of the fear and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus. With movement restrictions in place, it makes it hard to see what may happen in the future. Still, she wants to remind producers about the WHIP program that was extended for additional coverage for drought. Hagerman says Oklahoma falls into the drought qualifications, "That program has opened up for enrollment. It opened up on Monday."

COVID-19 has affected office staffing at FSA, but Hagerman says she believes we will see some extended deadlines for various programs, and a shift where offices try to do more things over the phone or online for the time being.

Hagerman said the one thing producers could do to be ready is to have your records prepared if you are in an eligible county, "The WHIP plus payment is going to be based on the value of the crop and will also include and insurance indemnities that you receive. So have your paperwork ready, and when the time comes that you can get into an office or speak with someone, you will have everything you need, and you'll be ready to go for that program."

Hagerman also discussed the CARES act, which includes 9.5 Billion for Ag Programs. This bill specifically targets specialty crop producers, livestock and dairy producers, and farmers marketing locally. Hagerman says the money set aside for agriculture is about 49 billion dollars, "that represents less than 1% of the overall spending package." But she believes producers might see some extended deadlines for the USDA program sign up.

The CARES act also added some additional monies put in for expanded loan capacity for FSA loans. Hagerman says this is good news because those pots of loan money were already gone for 2020, "this is some additional infusion of funds for possible, guaranteed FSA loans."

Hagerman goes onto say that there is also some language in the CARES act that includes verbiage around extending loan repayment options, deferring bankruptcies, etc.. Hence, she says to make sure you are in touch with your lenders, "Certainly be in touch with lenders, including FSA about loan repayment options if this becomes an issue further into the year." There may also be some benefits with lower interest rates.

So far, no announcement has been made to indicate that there will be an MFP for 2020, but Hagerman said she doesn't think a 2020 MFPR would look like the 2018 or 2019 programs.

Before ending her talk, Hagerman wanted to give producers a few reminders:
*Enroll in ARC or PLC for 2020 by June 30
*PLC Yield Update is due by September 30
*Starting October 2020 you will be able to change the ARC or PLC election crop base if you wish.

Click or tap below to hear Amy Hagerman's webinar on policy updates.



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