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2015-11-30

USDA Issues Safety-Net Payments to Farmers Facing Market Downturn

 

The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that beginning today, nearly one half of the 1.7 million farms that signed up for either the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs will receive safety-net payments for the 2014 crop year.

“Unlike the old direct payments program, which paid farmers in good years and bad, the 2014 Farm Bill authorized a new safety-net that protects producers only when market forces or adverse weather cause unexpected drops in crop prices or revenues,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “For example, the corn price for 2014 is 30 percent below the historical benchmark price used by the ARC-County program, and revenues of the farms participating in the ARC-County program are down by about $20 billion from the benchmark during the same period. The nearly $4 billion provided today by the ARC and PLC safety-net programs will give assistance to producers where revenues dropped below normal.”

The ARC/PLC programs primarily allow producers to continue to produce for the market by making payments on a percentage of historical base production, limiting the impact on production decisions.

Nationwide, 96 percent of soybean farms, 91 percent of corn farms, and 66 percent of wheat farms elected the ARC-County coverage option.  Ninety-nine percent of long grain rice and peanut farms, and 94 percent of medium grain rice farms elected the PLC option. Overall, 76 percent of participating farm acres are protected by ARC-County, 23 percent by PLC, and 1 percent by ARC-Individual. For data about other crops, as well as state-by-state program election results, final PLC price and payment data, and other program information including frequently asked questions, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc.

Crops receiving assistance include barley, corn, grain sorghum, lentils, oats, peanuts, dry peas, soybeans, and wheat.  In the upcoming months, disbursements will be made for other crops after marketing year average prices are published by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Any disbursements to participants in ARC-County or PLC for long and medium grain rice (except for temperate Japonica rice) will occur in November, for remaining oilseeds and also chickpeas in December, and temperate Japonica rice in early February 2016. ARC-individual payments will begin in November. Upland cotton is no longer a covered commodity.

The Budget Control Act of 2011, passed by Congress, requires USDA to reduce payments by 6.8 percent. For more information, producers are encouraged to visit their local Farm Service Agency office. To find a local Farm Service Agency office, visit http://offices.usda.gov.

The Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs were made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill, which builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past six years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.

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PLAY BAD. LOSE A GAME. DRIVE BAD. LOSE A LIFE. HAVE A GAME PLAN TO DRIVE TO SAVE LIVES GAME DAY WEEKEND

RICHMOND – Whether you root for the Hokies or the Hoos, or have your own favorite college football team to cheer on during this Saturday’s major matchups, nothing rivals the importance of all fans driving to save lives over the Thanksgiving weekend. In fact, Head Virginia Tech Football Coach Frank Beamer and Head University of Virginia Football Coach Mike London this summer put their rivalries aside in order to team up with the Virginia State Police for a traffic safety public service announcement (PSA): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KrQUzAYYFY.

The video, produced in partnership with Advance Auto Parts headquartered in Roanoke, Va., aims to reach young adult drivers who are most at risk for traffic crashes, injuries and deaths on Virginia highways. Last year in Virginia, 123 male and female drivers and passengers between the ages of 18 and 25 lost their lives in a traffic crash.* In 2014, there were 10,220 drivers and 2,815 passengers between ages 18 and 25 injured in traffic crashes statewide.*

 

“We need all drivers to have a game plan before they leave for and from game day festivities,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “First and foremost, never drink and drive. Buzzed driving is drunk driving and puts you and all motorists at risk. Play bad and the greatest thing you risk is losing a game. Drive impaired, distracted, unbuckled, and/or recklessly and the greatest thing you risk is losing your life or taking someone else’s. Reducing traffic fatalities on Virginia’s highways is a score we can live with.”

Drivers are also reminded to maintain your vehicle, use caution at railroad crossings, and comply with the state’s “Move Over” law to protect first responders and highway safety workers.

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Christmas Concert This Weekend

Pictured: Tammy Hand, Wendy Keener, Darryl Keener, Patty Richardson, Dr. Julie Hawley, Patti Watson, Kathy Baird

GASBURG ~ The Pleasant Hill Christian Church located at 175 Ankum Road in Gasburg, Virginia cordially invites you to celebrate God’s greatest Gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, with “A Festival of Christmas Music” on Sunday, December 6, at 7:00 pm.  The Christmas Celebration will feature songs for everyone!  From Silent Night to Winter Wonderland, this concert is sure to usher you into the Christmas season.

The festive evening of Christmas music will be presented by Patti Watson, Kathy Baird, Wendy Keener, Darryl Keener, Patty Richardson, Tammy Hand, Dr. Julie Baird Hawley, and the Pleasant Hill Christian Church Youth and Adult Choirs.  The concert will benefit children and families of domestic violence in Brunswick and Greensville Counties.

Patti Watson, of Emporia, is a member of Philadelphia United Methodist Church while, Kathy Baird, Patty Richardson, Wendy Keener, Darryl Keener, Dr. Julie Hawley and Tammy Hand are members of Pleasant Hill Christian Church. Together they will present a medley of familiar Christmas carols as well as songs of the holiday season. Following the concert, you are also invited to a reception that will be held in the PHCC Family Life Center.

There is no admission fee or ticket required for the concert, however, a special love offering will be collected during the program for the Family Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Program which is a non-profit organization that is specially designed to help victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault.  The monetary gifts collected will be used for the victims in Brunswickand GreensvilleCounties.  The program started in 1991 and since that time has served thousands of victims.  Helping people in need this Christmas season is what this event is all about.  These local talents hope to raise enough money during the concert to help brighten Christmas for several local people.

For more information regarding the concert please call the church office @ (434)577-2463.

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