University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Overview – Step 4

The 2014 Farm Bill provides the producers on the FSA farm a one-time, irrevocable program choice for the farm.  The program decision cannot be changed for the life of this farm bill.  Step 4 compares the Agriculture Risk Coverage, County Option (ARC-CO) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs.

  • ARC-CO provides revenue-based assistance using county average yields and national average prices;

  • PLC provides price-based assistance whenever the national average prices are below a fixed reference price;

  • Because they are elected on a crop-by-crop basis, it is possible to have both programs on the same FSA farm but for different commodities (e.g., ARC-CO for soybean base and PLC for wheat base).

  • This decision must be made by the deadline and it must be unanimous by all the producers on the FSA farm.  Failure to make the decision by the deadline results in forfeiture of any potential payments for the 2014 crop year and all program crops on the FSA farm are deemed to have elected PLC for the 2015-2018 crop years.


The Market Year Average (MYA) price is the national average price received by producers and calculated by USDA using information from elevators over the 12 months of the market year (e.g., for corn that begins Sept. and ends August the following year).

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