USDA calculates DCP payments using base acres and payment yields established for each farm. Farms with base acres are eligible for DCP. Eligible producers receive direct payments at rates established by the 2008 Food, Conservation and Energy Act. For 2010, eligible producers may receive an advance payment of 22 percent of the direct payment for each covered commodity and peanuts on the farm. USDA will issue advance direct payments as soon as practical after enrollment. Final direct payments will be issued in October 2010. Counter-cyclical payments vary depending on market prices and are issued only when the effective price for a commodity is below its target price (which takes into account the direct payment rate, market price and loan rate).
ACRE provides a valuable risk-management tool for producers by offering a revenue-based alternative to the traditional counter-cyclical program. Producers may elect to participate in ACRE even if they have already received an advance DCP payment for 2010. Last year, over 130,000 farms chose to participate in ACRE.
Numerous resources are available to help producers make informed decisions on program enrollment. FSA county office staff can answer many questions on program rules, application procedures and possible benefits. ACRE calculators and decision tools can be found on some land grant university websites and can assist with potential payment calculations. FSA also has launched an ACRE Web page with educational information, including an electronic program payment calculator, located at www.fsa.usda.gov/dcp.
Producers may complete and sign 2010 ACRE election forms and DCP and ACRE contracts at any USDA Service Center or they can enroll on the USDA website. On the website www.fsa.usda.gov/dcp – click on Access eDCP Services, producers can choose payment options, assign crop shares, sign and submit their contracts, and view and print submitted contract options from any computer with Internet access.