By DAN WHEAT

Capital Press

DAVENPORT, Wash. -- Workshops to help farmers understand an underused program that makes them money are being offered by Washington State University Extension May 10 and 18.

In 2009, farmers nationwide could transfer some of their traditional government crop support payment to a type of revenue insurance called the Average Crop Revenue Election program, or ACRE.

Washington farmers who made the transfer in 2009 should be rewarded with indemnity payments averaging $67 per planted acre above the cost of the insurance, says Tom Platt, WSU Extension educator in Davenport. Many farmers will net about $30,000 in ACRE payments for 2009, he says.

If prices hold and yields are average, ACRE payments in 2010 should be about $29 per planted acre above the cost of insurance because ACRE uses a high revenue target based on high prices in 2007 and 2008, Platt says.

Only 25 percent of eligible Washington farmers used the program in 2009, which means 75 percent left money on the table, apparently because the program was new and complex, Platt says.

Workshops to explain the program will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon May 10 at the Washington Association of Wheat Growers office, 109 E. First Ave., Ritzville, and the same hours May 18 at Lincoln County Public Works, 27234 Highway 25 N., Davenport.

Registration is required the Friday before each workshop. Cost is $20 for first person from a farm and $5 for each additional person. Register by mailing checks payable to Lincoln County to WSU Extension, P.O. Box 399, Davenport, WA 99122.

The deadline for new participants is May 31.

Platt may be contacted at plattom@wsu.edu or 509-725-4171.

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