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In Victory for Farmers, USDA Extends Base Acre and Yield Update Deadline

WASHINGTON, DC-- Today Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a one month extension for producers to update yield history and reallocate base acres for the new Farm_Bill_logocommodity programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill. The previous cutof date had been today, but the new deadline is now March 31, 2015.

"This flexibility provided by the department is greatly appreciated by farmers in every state and region, but is especially important to those of us in rice producing regions as we are already in the field preparing ground for this year's crop," said John Owen, a Lousiana grower and Chairmen of the USA Rice Federation Producers' Group. "Without this extension, thousands of farmers would not have the opportunity to align the new programs with their most recent plantings and yields and would be substantially disadvantaged in what looks to be a rough few years in farm country due to depressed commodity prices."

If no changes are made to yield history or base acres by March 31, 2015, the farm's current yield and base will be used. Additionally, a program election of ARC or PLC coverage also must be made by March 31, 2015, or there will be no 2014 payments for the farm and the farm will default to PLC coverage through the 2018 crop year.

"I hope everyone takes these deadlines seriously," Owen said, "if all the owners and producers involved in an operation aren't on the same page and haven't signed the proper documentation, no financial assistance will be available for losses from last year's crop."

Owen encouraged all growers to visit or call their local FSA office today.

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