UMN Extension launches 2014 Farm Bill crops education seminars

Farm Forum

ST. PAUL, Minn. — In December, University of Minnesota Extension and the Farm Service Agency will begin a series of 73 free education seminars to help crop producers understand decisions necessitated by the 2014 Farm Bill.

Crop producers have until March 31, 2015, to make decisions required by the farm bill, including the choice among three new risk management programs. They will be locked into a decision that lasts five years.

The seminars are offered in 72 counties and will be led by Extension educators and FSA; no registration is required. Details are available at The farm bill repeals several previous programs, including direct payments for most crops. It covers the following crops grown in Minnesota: corn, soybeans, wheat, barley, canola, sunflowers, oats, sorghum, lentils, dry peas, garbanzo beans and flax.

“The new farm program is significantly different from the previous one and offers producers the choice of approaches to managing risk,” said Kevin Klair, University of Minnesota Extension economist and program leader at the University’s Center for Farm Financial Management. “This farm program is complex and making selections from the options will be challenging. We encourage producers to attend an educational meeting, where we’ll cover national decision aid tools to run scenarios for their farm.”

Producers and landowners will need to work closely on program decisions, Klair added. For instance, yield updates and base acre reallocations are landowner decisions, he noted, while other program decisions are made by the farm operator.

The farm bill designates the extension arm of land-grant universities nationwide as the education provider for producers. More farm bill information is available at