ARC Funds Available for Sangamon County Farmers
Some federal financial dollars are available to farmers in Sangamon County, and some surrounding counties as well.
Agriculture Risk Coverage, or ARC, is a financial buffer for farmers in low income situations. It's a federal program that's not intended to provide a profit for farmers. It's basically a way to bail them out after many years of little to no income.
The funds are to make sure their farms can continue in the future. Even after nearly record harvests, farmers are still struggling primarily because of low prices for crops.
"The last few years, prices have been very low and revenue has been very low," said Jim Birge, manager of the Sangamon County Farm Bureau. "Farmers have lost a lot of equity in their farms and operations as they have lost money each year. To help stop that bleeding, there's a program in place to take a little of that burden off of them."
This is part of a five year federal farm bill and payments are expected to be reduced in future years. This year, farmers can be paid out $85 per acre for corn and $52 per acre for beans, but cannot exceed more than $125,000.