USDA to Issue $7 Billion of Program Payments

The USDA announced yesterday that it is issuing more than $7 billion in payments under the ARC-CO and PLC programs.  These payments are expected to be more than 10% of farmers net income for the year and there will be more payments to come later in the year.  These payments will be for those producers who elected ARC-IC or producers that have some of the more minor crops such as chickpeas, etc. where all of the data is not yet processed.

The USDA has not released the actual data for the county payments yet (should be in the next few days), but it has released maps showing a range of payments by county for the three major crops (corn, soybeans and wheat).  Here are some of the highlights from each map:


  • It appears that more counties will receive payments this year than for the 2014 crop.  For example, most counties in Illinois did not receive a 2014 crop, whereas for 2015, almost every county received a payment and most of the payments exceeded $73.
  • The maximum payment per acre was $135.40 (likely in Benton County, Washington state since it has the highest average yield in the country).
  • There is a slight flip-flop in the corn belt on maximum payments.  For 2014, these payments were concentrated in the Western Corn Belt.  For 2015, the payments were concentrated in the Eastern Corn Belt.


  • For 2014, most of the soybean payments were made in the northern part of the corn belt and not many counties hit the maximum payment.
  • For 2015, the majority of the maximum payments were made in the Eastern Corn Belt along the northern edges.  A high concentration of $50-$75 payments were in northern Illinois, Indiana and Ohio edging up into Pennsylvania and New York.


  • Most of the larger 2014 ARC-CO wheat payments were concentrated in the Pacific NW which had a drought that year.
  • For 2015, the payments were spread across the US with many counties receiving in excess of $$50 per acre.

It appears that total payments for 2015 crop year will about double the payments made for the 2014 crop year which is much greater than the original CBO estimates.  Also, there will be a 6.8% sequestering adjustment on any final 2015 payments.

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  • CliftonLarsonAllen
  • Yakima, Washington
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Paul Neiffer is a certified public accountant and business advisor specializing in income taxation, accounting services, and succession planning for farmers and agribusiness processors. Paul is a partner with CliftonLarsonAllen in Yakima, Washington, as well as a regular speaker at national conferences and contributor at Raised on a farm in central Washington, he has been immersed in the ag industry his entire life, including the last 30 years professionally. In fact, Paul drives combine each summer for his cousins and that is what he considers a vacation.

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