Adrian J. Polansky, state executive director of USDA's Farm Service Agency in Kansas today announced that enrollment for the 2011 Direct and Counter-cyclical Program (DCP) and the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program has begun and will continue through June 1, 2011.

USDA computes DCP Program payments using base acres and payment yields established for each farm. Eligible producers receive direct payments at rates established by statute regardless of market prices. For 2011, eligible producers may request anytime after December 1, 2010, to receive advance direct payments based on 22 percent of the direct payment. Counter-cyclical payment rates vary depending on market prices. Counter-cyclical payments are issued only when the effective price for a commodity is below its target price.

"We at FSA urge producers to make use of the eDCP automated website to sign up," said Polansky.  "The electronic service saves producers' time, reduces paperwork and speeds up contract processing at their local FSA offices."  To access the electronic service, producers must have an active USDA eAuthentication Level 2 account, which requires filling out an online registration form at followed by a visit to the local USDA Service Center for identity verification.  For those without internet access or if they prefer, producers can also visit any USDA Service Center to complete their 2011 DCP or ACRE contract.

The optional ACRE Program provides a safety net based on state revenue losses and acts in place of the price-based safety net of counter-cyclical payments under DCP. A farm's payment is based on a revenue guarantee calculated using a 5-year average state yield and the most recent 2-year national price for each eligible commodity. For the 2011 crop, the 2-year price average will be based on the 2009 and 2010 crop years. An ACRE payment is issued when both the state and the farm have incurred a revenue loss. The payment is based on 83.3 percent (85 percent in 2012) of the farm's planted acres times the difference between the State ACRE guarantee and the state revenue times the ratio of the farm's yield divided by the state expected yield. The total number of planted acres for which a producer may receive ACRE payments may not exceed the total base on the farm. In exchange for participating in ACRE, in addition to not receiving counter-cyclical payments, a farm's direct payment is reduced by 20 percent, and marketing assistance loan rates are reduced by 30 percent.

The decision to enroll in the ACRE Program is irrevocable. The owner of the farm and all producers on the farm must agree to enroll in ACRE. Once enrolled, the farm shall be enrolled for that initial crop year and will remain in ACRE through the 2012 crop year.

The June 1, 2011, deadline is mandatory for all participants. USDA will not accept any late-filed applications. For more information on DCP or ACRE, please visit your FSA county office or  USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.