Planted corn acres often exceed farm program "base acres"

A map of the U.S. showing the distribution of corn DCP enrolled base per corn planted acre in 2009.

Participants in the Direct and Countercyclical Program (DCP) receive annual payments based on eligible historical production of particular crops. However, producers are not required to continue to plant their historical crop on these enrolled "base acres." This provides producers the flexibility to make planting decisions in response to market signals (except for some restrictions on planting fruits and vegetables) without losing their program payments. In almost half of all counties with enrolled corn base in 2009, the number of acres planted to corn by producers participating in FSA programs exceeded the number of corn base acres, indicating that a number of producers elected to plant corn on acreage historically planted to other crops, illustrating their use of the planting flexibility available under this program. This map is from the Farm Program Atlas, found on the ERS website, updated December 15, 2011.

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