While the USDA-Farm Service Agency’s interpretation of the Agricultural Act of 2014, the farm bill, is still likely months from being finalized, the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University has released the preliminary version of its farm bill decision aid tool for farmers. The tool is now available online through the AFPC website, https://afpc.tamu.edu/models/decisionaid.php.

The AFPC developed the decision aid with financial assistance from the USDA, Texas Corn Producers, and others.

Farmers are reminded that this is a preliminary version of the tool, and has not been finalized to incorporate the final rules, which are yet to be released by USDA-FSA. However, this initial version will integrate with the AFPC’s final version of the decision aid that will be done in coordination with the USDA. This fluid integration will keep farmers from having to enter their data into the decision tool a second time once it is finalized.

The AFPC is making this version available so farmers can gather information, enter the data, and analyze  options to gain familiarity with the tool and the output. Farmers can simply run the analysis again when the final version is released to assist with making farm program decisions.

Prior to using the tool, farmers are encouraged to watch or listen to two explanatory videos or podcasts that explain some of the details they should be aware of when inputting their data. Those resources can be found at https://afpc.tamu.edu/podcasts/fpm/ and are labeled:

  • Explaining How To Input Data Into The Decision Aid, Part 1
  • Explaining How To Input Data Into The Decision Aid, Part 2

The TCP staff is available as an additional resource to corn farmers needing assistance working with the tool. The TCP is available toll free at 800.647.CORN(2676) or tcpb@texascorn.org.

Additionally, general information about the 2014 farm bill, a link to the decision aid tool and other related materials are available at the TCP website, www.TexasCorn.org.