Session takes place in UMN Crookston's Bede Ballroom.

Each winter, AgCountry hosts a meeting to update farmers on tax law changes for the coming year, provide information on farm accounting, and explain any modifications in crop insurance policies.

 

Coming off the historically bad 2019 harvest, Thursday’s session that attracted a nice crowd in Bede Ballroom on the University of Minnesota Crookston campus may have taken on more importance than most of AgCountry’s annual winter sessions.

 

A major topic of discussion this year, AgCountry’s Kristie Ricard tells the Times, centered on all of the crops that could not be harvested due to the wet conditions and still remain in the fields, and how that will impact farmers’ production reporting.

 

“We visited on the possibility of (growers) being prevented from planting their crops this year and what that means to them,” Ricard explained.

 

The agenda also included a marketing update and the latest data regarding input cost prices, she said, so farmers can sell their crops for a profit or minimize any losses. The latter scenario seems to be the prevalent theme right now with commodity prices as low as they are, Ricard notes.

 

The group went over the 2018 Farm Bill and discussed the difference between Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC), all of which is dealt with at the Farm Service Agency office level.

 

The session also touched on the disaster declaration in the wake of the record wet fall that made hindered the harvest and in many cases made harvesting impossible. WHIP+ (Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus) provides disaster payments to producers to offset losses from hurricanes, wildfires and other qualifying natural disasters that occurred during the 2018 and 2019 calendar years. Polk County has been included in the presidential disaster declaration, which Ricard said will make applying for assistance a bit easier. 

 

The FSA office is still waiting for policies and procedures on how to administer WHIP+, Ricard added.