Under terms of the new farm bill, producers who enroll in the ARC or PLC must remain in the program through the 2018 crop year.

In addition to ARC and PLC, tools will be developed to help with other programs made available through the Agriculture Act of 2014. Sign-up for the newly established Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP) begins late this summer and enrollment for "buy-up" provisions under the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) will begin early next year. An online MPP tool will be available when sign up begins and the NAP buy-up provision resource will become available to producers in the fall for the 2015 crop year.

USDA reports part of the funding will help state Extension services conduct public education outreach meetings where producers can speak with local Extension agents and Farm Service Agency (FSA) staff. Outreach meetings will begin late this summer to help farmers and ranchers understand the new programs and the options available to them.

While universities work to create new online tools, producers already have access to a preliminary website that gives them a chance to begin familiarizing themselves with the new programs and the type of information they will need to consider when deciding which program options work better for them. Farmers can view ARC and PLC projected payments, ARC guarantees, and PLC payment rate projections at the web site.

Universities scheduled to participate in developing web tools for the National Coalition for Producer Education include the University of Illinois, Michigan State University, Montana State University, Watts & Associates, Delaware State University, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, North Carolina A&T University, University of Wisconsin, Cornell University, Pennsylvania State University, Ohio State University, and University of Minnesota.

Universities working to develop other programs include Texas Tech University, University of Missouri, Iowa State University, University of Nebraska, Kansas State University, Mississippi State University, Oklahoma State University, Tennessee State University, University of Georgia, and Fresno State University.