As the Senate tackles the farm bill, new analysis of the legislation shows if it passes producers will have some tough decisions to make. The study looks at major program proposals, the options available in each, and how farmers would likely be impacted in various scenarios.

See analysis at http://www.agecon.msstate.edu/what/policy/briefs/pdf/farm_policy_brief_june_2.2.pdf.

Keith Coble — who authored the analysis with fellow Mississippi State University economistsBarry Barnett, Corey Miller, and David Ubilava – spoke with Farm Press about the quartet’s findings just after the study’s release. Among his comments:

On the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) program…

“Many focused on ARC in the Senate bill. It’s a shallow-loss program from 89 to 79 percent. That’s a fairly tight window.

“Farmers have the possibility of taking ARC coverage at a farm level or county level. Payment acres are involved in either case.

“So, a producer may say ‘if all else is equal I prefer a farm trigger rather than a county trigger.’ However, the payment rate is 65 percent of your acres at the farm level. At the county level the rate is higher. That’s the tradeoff – (using a farm trigger), you’ll be paid on a smaller percentage of your acres but it will be tied to your own production experience.

“ARC would be delivered by the FSA and would have no premium associated with it. That means it would look a bit like the ACRE program in the last farm bill.”

On the Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX) and Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO)…

“STAX is an insurance program and is a proposal that came from the National Cotton Council. STAX looks an awful lot like the Group Risk Income Protection plan that we’ve had.