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Payments issued for struggling farmers

— The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced recently that nearly one half of the 1.7 million farms that signed up for either the Agriculture Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage programs will receive safety-net payments for the 2014 crop year.

“Unlike the old direct payments program, which paid farmers in good years and bad, the 2014 Farm Bill authorized a new safety-net that protects producers only when market forces or adverse weather cause unexpected drops in crop prices or revenues,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.

The programs primarily allow producers to continue to produce for the market by making payments on a percentage of historical base production, limiting the impact on production decisions.

Nationwide, 91 percent of corn farms, and 66 percent of wheat farms elected the agriculture risk coverage option.

In the coming months, disbursements will be made for other crops after marketing year average prices are published by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

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