For months now USDA has been saying that details were coming soon on the Average Crop Revenue Election program that was included in the 2008 Farm Bill. On Friday those details were finally released.
The major question that held up the process was which crop year would be used to base payments for the ACRE program off of. USDA announced that they would use the 2007-2008 crop year, a decision that many producers were wanting because of higher prices that were seen in 2008. However the potential budget impacts of that decision delayed release of details.
"There was some controversy there. Some members of Congress had one intent, some members of Congress told us they had a different intent, and CBO scored it in different years," said Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer. "As we plowed through that we felt that as you go through the next marketing year we really don't know what the prices are going to be or not be. So when we deliver that program in October of '09, we just felt that the proper base years were the '07-08 crops."
Signup for the ACRE program will take place next spring.