As a general rule, federal (and state) agricultural program payments received as cash or in the form of services are includible in income. The time at which the amounts are received or made available is ordinarily the time the payments are to be included in income. Amounts are considered to be "made available" in the year in which program requirements have been met, regardless of whether an application had been signed to receive final payment. The fact that a farm operator does not sign the application for final payment until the following year does not defer income to the later year.
Harl, Neil E.
"Reporting Government Farm Payment Programs,"
Agricultural Law Digest: Vol. 3
, Article 1.
Available at: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/aglawdigest/vol3/iss2/1