Digital Acreage Reporting is Here

USDA Modernizes Acreage Reporting with Electronic Submissions

Nebraska farmer Quentin Connealy has ditched traditional paper maps and crayons for a more efficient digital system to file his mandatory acreage reports for crop insurance and the Farm Services Agency (FSA). This shift to electronic submissions not only saves time but also reduces costs and improves accuracy.

Embracing the Digital Shift

Connealy connected his MyAgData account to his John Deere Operations Center last spring, making it possible to submit crop insurance acreage reports electronically. By using actual planting and harvest data, he has simplified the process, resulting in lower insurance premiums and higher, more accurate Actual Production History (APH) yields. This change has already saved him between $3,000 and $4,000 on crop insurance premiums.

Nationwide Electronic Reporting

This year marks a significant step for farmers nationwide, as every FSA office will now accept electronic submissions of acreage data. With the deadline for FSA acreage reports set for July 15 in most growing areas, this modernization effort is expected to bring widespread benefits. Farmers can submit Risk Management Agency (RMA) data through crop insurance providers or approved third-party companies, with MyAgData being the sole approved provider for FSA data in 2024.

Benefits and Efficiency Gains

The switch to digital reporting offers substantial time savings. A 1,500-acre farmer, who typically spends about 12 hours preparing data for FSA office visits, can now streamline this process with precision planting software integrations. Programs like John Deere, Case IH, Climate FieldView, Topcon, and FieldAlytics enable farmers to pull data from the cloud, making annual reporting as straightforward as using tax software.

Accurate Acreage Reporting

By reporting actual planted acreage rather than relying on outdated Common Land Units (CLUs), farmers can reduce their crop insurance premiums. Many CLUs, created in the early 2000s, overstate field boundaries by 3% to 10%, leading to higher insurance costs. Switching to actual planted acreage can save a 1,500-acre farmer around $3,000 on premiums and result in more accurate APH yields, offering better insurance guarantees.

Long-Term Advantages

For Connealy, digital reporting allows accurate representation of irrigated and dryland acreage, improving yield history and guarantees. His use of Agrimatic’s Libra system to overlay yield data onto harvest maps further enhances efficiency and accuracy. As these digital systems continue to integrate and evolve, the process will only become more seamless.

Adoption and Future Prospects

Connealy, an early adopter of technology, anticipates that most farmers will transition to digital reporting within the next few years. MyAgData CEO Michelle Tressel assures farmers that their data will be used solely for regulatory purposes, helping them move from manual to digital transactions.

Financial Impacts

The USDA’s push for electronic reporting is expected to yield significant savings. With the federal government subsidizing 60% or more of crop insurance premiums, accurate data reporting can lead to substantial reductions in costs. For example, North Dakota growers could save $45 million annually if they adopted digital reporting, with $30 million benefiting the federal government and $15 million staying with farmers.

Conclusion

The shift to digital acreage reporting represents a win-win for farmers and the government. As more farmers embrace this technology, the agriculture industry will benefit from increased efficiency, cost savings, and more accurate data, paving the way for future advancements in farm management. To learn more, you can read the full article HERE.