Earlier this week the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a record 1.77 million contracts for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs were signed by producers.

The signup was for the 2019 crop year and marked an increase of nearly 107% of contracts signed over a five-year average.

“Producers for several years have experienced low commodity prices, a volatile trade environment and catastrophic natural disasters,” said administrator of USDA’s Farm Service Agency Richard Fordyce in a news release. “Farmers looking to mitigate these risks recognize that ARC and PLC provide the financial protections they need to weather substantial drops in crop prices or revenues.”

For the 2020 crop year, the deadline to enroll in the ARC and PLC programs is June 30.

For those interested in enrolling for 2020, contact your local FSA county office.

At this time, USDA Service Centers and FSA county offices are open by phone only.

Necessary field work will continue with appropriate social distancing.

To conduct business with the FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service or any other service center agency, visitors are required to call their service center to schedule a phone appointment.

For more information, visit farmers.gov/coronavirus.

To contact the writer, email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com.