Farm Bill Decision Aids

The last few weeks I’ve been promoting the hands on training about Texas A&M Agricultural Food Policy Center comprehensive Farm Bill Decision Aid computer program that’s being held on Wednesday, January 14, 2015th.

Since we have the Crop Production Clinic going on at the same time here in York, I’m not able to attend, but plan to view an archived session of it. Hopefully after viewing it and getting some tips from Randy Pryor and Jenny Rees along with staff at the FSA office I’ll be able to give it a try. I’ve started one farm and did not have all the needed information, so I’m holding off until I get that.

This model is great, but like any model is no better than the information you provide? The decisions are based on where you feel potential prices will be in the next five years. You’ll need your CC yields and base acres from FSA as well as your production history since 2008 (2003 if you wish to run the insurance tool).

When using the Texas A&M model you need to decide what you want the tool to analyze.
1) Yield Update Tool – calculates values for PLC yields using yield histories for your units.
2) Base Acre Reallocation & PLC/ARC Decision Aid Tool – helps you decide whether to reallocate your base acres and whether to choose PLC, ARC-C, or ARC-I for each farm unit based on your data.
3) Farm Bill 2014 Insurance – calculates net revenue for alternative insurance choices available through the 2014 Farm Bill and RMA. This option can take considerable time and EACH crop insurance tract needs to be entered as a “new farm unit” under each FSA farm number.
If you are not looking at the insurance decisions but the others, for York County farms with combined dryland and irrigated yields, completing the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) Yield Worksheet (CCC-859) from the FSA with your combined irrigated and dryland yield for each FSA number will really help you inputting your data.

I’m planning to view the training and have a couple of producers that are gathering the needed information so that we can give the tool a try. Over the next week or two, I’m going to see how it works and then I will be willing to help interested producers input the data.

I want to thank Randy Pryor for all his efforts to line up the training and helping answer questions about this tool as well as Jenny Rees for some great input screen shots and the link to 23 youtube videos related to the Texas A&M model: I’m, sure additional videos will be added over the next few months.

Be sure to also check out the NE Extension Farm Bill information page: and the CropWatch pages for updates: This week’s edition has some Q & A about updating your yields. Just click on the appropriate link.

It should be an interesting few months, I’ve made a few runs and I’m starting to get the basics of the program. It’s important that producers provide accurate information. I’ve posted a one page form on our website that includes instructions and the data that is needed. It can be found at: Then click on the appropriate links.

I’m going to be willing to help input your information or answer questions. The link to the Texas A&M program is:

Give me a call at 402-362-5508 or email me at if you have questions.


About extensionupdate

I'm a UNL Extension Educator located in York Nebrasksa. I work primarily in the area of irrigated cropping systems. Water and nitrogen management are areas of importance so that we maintain water quality and quantity.
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2 Responses to Farm Bill Decision Aids

  1. Samad says:

    No if in the Farm Bill Decision Aid Tool is an online educational tool that helps crop producers and landowners with sign-up decisions for the new farm programs. The tool is compatible for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari and on tablets and smart phones. Thanks extensionupdate.

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