Even without a farm bill, safety net payments have begun

The Department of Agriculture has begun issuing farm safety net payments for the 2017 and 2018 crop years. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced more than $4.8 billion in payments are being made this month through the Farm Service Agency's Agriculture Risk Coverage, Price Loss Coverage and Conservation Reserve programs. The payments come as there is a temporary lapse of farm bill authorities, but Perdue says farmers and ranchers can "rest assured that USDA continues to work within the letter of the law to deliver much-needed farm safety net, conservation, disaster recovery, and trade assistance program payments.” Approximately $3 billion in payments will be made under the ARC and PLC programs for the 2017 crop year, and approximately $1.8 billion in annual rental payments under CRP for 2018. The ARC and PLC programs were authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and make up a portion of the agricultural safety net to producers when they experience a substantial drop in revenue or prices for their covered commodities.

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