Farm owners have a one-time opportunity to update PLC yields of covered commodities on the farm, regardless of Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC)program election. The deadline to request a PLC yield update is Sept. 30.

The updated yield will be equal to 90% of the average yield per planted acre in crop years 2013-2017 (excluding any year where the applicable covered commodity was not planted), subject to the ratio obtained by dividing the 2008-2012 average national yield by the 2013-2017 average national yield for the covered commodity. If the reported yield in any year is less than 75% of the 2013-2017 average county yield, then the yield will be substituted with 75% of the county average yield.

The data below provides the ratio obtained by dividing the 2008-2012 average national yield by the 2013-2017 average national yield for each covered commodity.

• Covered Commodity: Barley, National Yield Factor 0.9437

• Covered Commodity: Canola, National Yield Factor 0.9643

• Covered Commodity: Corn, National Yield Factor 0.9000

• Covered Commodity: Grain Sorghum, National Yield Factor 0.9077

• Covered Commodity: Oats, National Yield Factor 0.9524

• Covered Commodity: Soybeans, National Yield Factor 0.9000

• Covered Commodity: Sunflower Seed, National Yield Factor 0.9396

• Covered Commodity: Wheat, National Yield Factor 0.9545

It is the owner’s choice whether to update or keep existing PLC yields. If a yield update is not made, then no action is required to maintain the existing PLC yield. An existing or updated PLC yield will be maintained and effective for crop years 2020 through 2023 (life of the 2018 Farm Bill).

PLC yields may be updated on a covered commodity-by-covered commodity basis using FSA form CCC-867.

For more information, reference resources and decision tools, visit farmers.gov/arc-plc. Contact your local Farm Service Agency Office for assistance — farmers.gov/service-center-locator.

National Farm Safety Week (Sept. 21 through Sept. 25)

The 2018 data for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the agricultural sector is still the most dangerous in America with 574 fatalities, or an equivalent of 23.4 deaths per 100,000 workers.

Fall harvest time can be one of the busiest and most dangerous seasons of the year for the agriculture industry. For this reason, the third week of September has been recognized as National Farm Safety and Health Week.

This annual promotion initiated by the National Safety Council has been proclaimed as such by each sitting U.S. President since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944. National Farm Safety and Health Week is led by the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS), the agricultural partner of the National Safety Council.

The theme for National Farm Safety and Health Week 2020 is “Every Farmer Counts.” The theme is to acknowledge, celebrate, and uplift America’s farmers and ranchers who have encountered many challenges over the past couple of years, yet continue to work hard to provide the food, fiber, and fuel that we need.

According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, there are about 3.4 million agricultural producers in America, which is only about one% of our population.

These farmers and ranchers not only provide the essentials that we need, but they do wonderful things for their families and friends, their communities, and beyond. That is why “Every Farmer Counts” and now is the time to prioritize their safety and health.

Kentucky House Bill 59 designates Wednesday of National Farm Safety Week as “Farmer Suicide Prevention Day.” The stress of farming can be overwhelming at times and farmers may not be thinking clearly about their options. Help is available through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Reminders for FSA Direct and Guaranteed Borrowers with Real Estate SecurityFarm loan borrowers who have pledged real estate as security for their Farm Service Agency (FSA) direct or guaranteed loans are responsible for maintaining loan collateral. Borrowers must obtain prior consent or approval from FSA or the guaranteed lender for any transaction that affects real estate security. These transactions include, but are not limited to:

• Leases of any kind

• Easements of any kind

• Subordinations

• Partial releases

• Sales

Failure to meet or follow the requirements in the loan agreement, promissory note, and other security instruments could lead to nonmonetary default which could jeopardize your current and future loans.

It is critical that borrowers keep an open line of communication with their FSA loan staff or guaranteed lender when it comes to changes in their operation. For more information on borrower responsibilities, read your FSA Farm Loan Compass.

Don Wilkins, dwilkins@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7299

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