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Farm Bill and Hay Yield Information Posted

University of Minnesota Extension, Stearns County News
April 29, 2014         
Source:  Dan Martens, Extension Educator
University of Minnesota Extension
Stearns, Benton & Morrison Counties

Farm Bill and Hay Yield Information Posted
By Dan Martens, University of Minnesota Extension

FOLEY, Minn. (04/24/2014) —University of Minnesota Extension economist Kent Olson has prepared a series of six fact sheets that explain basic components for the crop program part of 2014 Farm Bill. These articles focus on changes in programs and rules affecting crop commodities. The information can help the agricultural community prepare for changes introduced by the recently passed federal legislation. 

Gone are the Average Crop Revenue (ACRE) and Counter-Cyclical Program (CCP). In their place, farmers must decide between new programs: the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) or the county- or individual-based Agriculture Revenue Coverage (ARC).

The fact sheets are on Extension's web site at They cover details on the new crops programs, including comparative information designed to help farmers choose their best option. The titles of these 6 articles are:

1. Title 1. Commodities – Overview for Crops. This article discusses basic changes, updating payment yields, reallocating base acres, basic program options, and limits on payments and adjusted gross income.
2. Updating Payment Yields and Reallocating Base Acres
3. Choosing Between PLC (Price Loss Coverage) and ARC (Agriculture Risk Coverage)
4. Price Loss Coverage (PLC) – more details and examples
5. ARC based on County Yields
6. ARC based on Individual Farm Yields

In rental, partnership, or multiple owner situations – all parties need to agree and designate the program option in which they enroll. If this is not done, the farm will be assigned to the PLC option for the 2014-2018 crop years and will be ineligible for any payments for the 2014 farm year. 

It looks like enrollment for the 2014 Farm Bill Crop programs will start later this summer or maybe later in the fall. This does not have a bearing on how farmers make planting decisions this spring. Farmers do need to stay tuned to FSA (Farm Service Agency) procedures for reporting planted acres, updating rental agreements reports, and other general reporting and information items.

Olson and colleagues in the Extension Agricultural Business Management program provide farmers and other industry professionals with University research-based information on farm management and marketing. More information is available at

If you’re not using the Internet, in Stearns, Benton and Morrison Counties, you’re welcome to call the County Extension Office for a copy of this information. There may be a cost for printing and postage. In Stearns County call (320) 255-6169 or 800-450-6171; in Benton call (320) 968-5077 or 800-964-4929; and in Morrison call (320) 632-0161 or 866-401-1111.



The National Ag Statistics Service recently posted their yield and production estimates for individual counties and the state of Minnesota. Stearns County produced the largest quantity of “Alfalfa Hay.” Morrison County produced the largest quantity of “Other Dry Hay” (excluding alfalfa). Obviously the overall size of counties affects how this turns out to some extent. Figures are listed below for 2012 and 2013. For each year, “A” is acre area harvested. “Y” is yield in tons per acre. “T” is total production as 1,000’s of tons produced.

ALFALFA        Benton    Morrison     Stearns     Minnesota
2012 A           8,810     28,900         58,800       850,000
2013 A         10,500     29,600         59,300       950,000
2012 Y            3.15           3.2             3.55             2.90         
2013 Y            2.65           2.2             3.25             2.60
2012 T        27,600      92,900       208,800    2,465,000
2013 T        27,900      65,500       192,800    2,470,000

OTHER HAY       Benton    Morrison     Stearns     Minnesota
2012 A             13,600       41,400      31,400       900,000     
2013 A             12,800       56,700      37,500       950,000
2012 Y                 2.30           2.25          2.20             1.70         
2013 Y                 1.45           1.65          1.65             1.50
2012 T              31,200       93,900      68,700    1,530,000
2013 T              18,600       94,400      62,600    1,425,000

Grass meadows are an important resource. Pasture land is not counted in this and is a significant feed resource as well. Alfalfa winter kill in southern Minnesota probably led to more acres of new seeding where production is usually less. Dry weather limited yields in the later part of the summer in some areas of the state.  Acres of grass hay harvested can be affected by whether low land meadows dry up enough to harvest, markets, and other factors.

The 2013 crop and livestock reports can be found by doing an Internet Search for “Minnesota Ag Statistics County Estimates.” In Stearns, Benton and Morrison Counties, you’re welcome to call the County Extension Office for more information.


Daniel Martens
Extension Educator, Ag Production Systems
(320) 968-5077
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