WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that Ohio farmers are eligible for Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program payments for wheat, barley and oats due to low prices last year. Brown authored the ACRE provision, included in the 2008 Farm Bill, which protects agricultural producers from low prices and yield declines.
"Ohio farmers deserve a safety-net that supports them when prices drop or natural disaster strikes, said Brown. "The ACRE program is major reform to current farm programs which helps farmers in Ohio better manage the risk inherent in agriculture. Prior to the 2008 Farm Bill, I held a series of roundtables throughout Ohio, where I asked farmers to tell me what a common sense farm safety-net looks like. Ohio farmers did more than give opinions, they came up with solutions. I'm grateful for their insight, their guidance, and their invaluable input. As a result, for the first time ever, Ohio farmers now receive support that ensures against revenue instability which makes more sense than the traditional price-focused safety net for many farmers."
"ACRE works for Ohio, said Dwayne Siekman, Executive Director of Ohio Wheat Growers Association. ACRE is doing what it was designed for, helping producers mitigate risk through revenue protection. Senator Brown's work in the last Farm Bill was critical for Ohio farmers."
Assistance through the ACRE Program are revenue-based and determined based on state prices and yields. In addition to state ACRE eligibility, enrolled farms must meet individual loss requirements in order to receive payments. Producers should contact their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices for more information.
Brown has held more 150 roundtables throughout the state, including a weeklong series of roundtables focused exclusively on agriculture. At one of these roundtables in northwest Ohio, the concept behind the ACRE program was borne.
In July of 2008, Brown received the President's Award from the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) for his work on the 2008 farm bill. The award is given each year to a single member of Congress who has actively worked and raised awareness on grower issues. Earlier this year, Brown also received the "Friend of Farm Bureau" Award from the Ohio Farm Bureau and the "Golden Triangle" Award from the Ohio Farmers Union. These awards are given each year to members of Congress who have supported issues important to Ohio agriculture.
Brown chairs the U.S. Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Hunger, Nutrition, and Family Farms. He is the first Ohioan in more than 40 years to serve on the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee.