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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