USDA announces critical farming dates

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 19, 2000

Special to The Messenger

Dec. 18, 2000 10 PM

Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director, Daniel Robinson, reminds farmers and ranchers of pending application deadlines for emergency assistance programs and announces recently developed new emergency programs.

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"As area farmers and ranchers continue to fight Mother Nature, increasing input expenses and low commodity prices, FSA continues to develop and deliver programs designed to alleviate these hardships. Through the existing programs and with the proposed new programs, USDA and FSA continue to recognize the farm community’s need for support," said Robinson.

Application deadlines for programs previously announced this year are:

· 2000 Oilseeds Programs: $500 million in payments is available to the more than 600,000 producers of the 2000 crops of certain oilseeds. Eligible oilseeds include canola, crambe, flaxseed, mustard, rapeseed, safflower, sesame, soybeans, and sunflowers. Application deadline is January 12, 2001.

· 2000 Crop Years Peanut Market Loss Assistance Program: An estimated $61 million is available to partially compensate over 16,000 peanut producers for low commodity prices and increasing production costs. Application deadline is February 1, 2001.

· Wool and Mohair Market Loss Assistance Program: Approximately $11 million in relief is available for farmers who suffered economic loss due to low prices during the 1999 marketing year. Application deadline is December 29, 2000.

· 2000 Lamb Meat Adjustment Assistance Program: Approximately $10 million is available to producers whose lamb carcasses meet minimum grade specifications. Application deadline is August 15, 2001.

Local USDA Farm Service Agency offices will also begin accepting applications soon for the following programs:

· 2000 Crop Disaster Program (CDP): Funds will be made available to producers who have been affected by crop disaster. The signup period will begin January 18, 2001.

· 2000 Livestock Assistance Program (LAP): An estimated $438 million is available to producers for grazing losses due to weather related disasters. The signup period will begin January 18, 2001.

· Dairy Market Loss Assistance Program (DMLA III): Payments to operations that received assistance under DMLA II will be automatically issued to producers later this month. Payments will also be available to new operations and to operations that did not have 12 months of marketing established under DMLA II, and will be based on October 1999 – September 2000 marketing. The four-week signup period for these producers will begin in late January 2001.

Producers should watch for new program announcements released from their local Farm Service Agency office. County offices will receive national guidance regarding new program delivery prior to program informatin about current program eligibility. New program eligibility and application information will be available in January.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.