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Workshops Will Help Farmers Take a Second Look at “ACRE” Program

DAVENPORT, Wash. — In 2009, farmers nationwide had an opportunity to transfer some of their traditional government crop support payment to a type of revenue insurance called the Average Crop Revenue Election Program, or ACRE.

According to Tom Platt, Washington State University Extension Educator in Davenport, the 25 percent of Washington farmers who elected to take this transfer should be rewarded with an indemnity payment for their 2009 crop averaging $67 per planted acre over and above the cost of the insurance. But, says Platt, the 75 percent that did not participate in 2009 left money on the table.

Platt will hold two workshops in May to help nonparticipating farmers evaluate whether to participate in the ACRE program in 2010. The first will be held on Monday, May 10, at the Washington Association of Wheat Growers office, 109 East 1st Avenue, in Ritzville. The second will be on Tuesday, May 18, at Lincoln County Public Works, 27234 State Route 25 North in Davenport. Both workshops will run from 10:30 am to noon. The deadline for new ACRE participants is May 31.

Platt speculates that the reason more farms didn’t participate in 2009 is because the program was new and complex.

“I think a lot of them figured that a bird in the hand was better than two in the bush,” he says. “However when they learn that their participating neighbors netted about $30,000 in ACRE payments for 2009 they may want to reconsider. The workshops will help them re-evaluate participation in the ACRE Program.”

If prices hold the same for 2010 and yields are average, Platt estimates another ACRE payment for the 2010 crop of $29 per planted acre over and above the cost of the insurance.  Although he admits this is a big “if,” Platt explains that the reason ACRE payments are likely assuming average yields and current prices, is because ACRE uses a high revenue target which is based on crop revenue from 2007 and 2008, years with historically high prices.

Registration for the ACRE workshops is required by the Friday before each workshop. The cost is $20 for the first person from a farm operation, plus $5 for each additional person.  To register, mail a check payable to Lincoln County to WSU Extension, Box 399, Davenport WA 99122.

WSU Extension programs are offered without discrimination.  For more information or accommodation of special needs, contact Tom Platt, 509-725-4171, plattom@wsu.edu.

Media Contacts

Tom Platt, WSU Extension Educator, 509-725-4171