The new farm bill signed into law last week by President Barack Obama creates new risk management programs for farmers, but it won’t impact crop insurance decisions due this spring, says Steve Johnson, Iowa State University Extension farm management specialist.

Farmers may be inclined to wait for details of the new farm bill programs to emerge, but it’s likely to be several months before program sign-ups begin, he said. Meanwhile, the deadline to purchase crop insurance for this year’s corn and soybean crops is March 15.

"Farmers are going to think they’ve got to wait and make their crop insurance decision the last day because we’ll have farm bill implications," said Johnson. "My message is the opposite. There’s nothing in this farm bill that’s going to impact crop insurance for 2014.

"You have six weeks to...