Agricultural producers who have not yet elected and enrolled in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for 2021 have until March 15, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Producers who have not signed a contract or who want to make an election change should contact their local USDA Service Center to make an appointment.

The department said in a news release that about 1.4 million farms have so far enrolled, about 81% of expected participation.

“In times like these, from winter storms to a pandemic, we’re reminded of the importance of managing risk,” said Zach Ducheneaux, Administrator of USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). “The Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs provide critical support to farmers to protect them from substantial drops in crop prices or revenues. If you have not enrolled or made elections, please do so by the March 15 deadline.”

Producers who enrolled for the 2019 crop year received more than $5 billion in payments last fall. If an ARC or PLC payment triggers for a particular crop for the 2021 crop year and there is no signed 2021 contract on file, then the producer is ineligible for that program payment.

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Producers are eligible to enroll farms with base acres for the following commodities: barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium- and short-grain rice, safflower seed, seed cotton, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat.

For more information on ARC and PLC, visit farmers.gov/arc-plc.