SUPPLEMENTAL PAYMENTS TO FARMERS BEGIN
Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman, during a tour of Farm Service Agency facilities in Lubbock, Texas on Monday, announced USDA will begin making more than $5 billion in supplemental payments to about 1.4 million producers this week as a result of President Bush signing into law the agricultural economic assistance package yesterday.
"We commend the Congress for their prompt action in passing this important legislation," said Veneman. "Within 24 hours of President Bush signing this legislation, we're moving forward in processing these payments for farmers."
A tentative time schedule, guidelines, and specific amounts have been set to begin to distribute those payments to producers:
August 14, 2001:
• $4.6 billion for supplemental market loss assistance payments to producers receiving a 2001 Agricultural Market Transition Act (AMTA) payment
• $423 million in supplemental payments to 2000-crop oilseed producers
September 7, 2001
• $84.7 million to cottonseed producers and first-handlers of the 2000 crop of cottonseed
• $16.9 million for payments to wool and mohair producers that received a payment for the 2000 marketing year September 10, 2001
• $54 million for producers of quota or additional peanuts who received a payment for the 2000 crop year
September 18, 2001
• $129 million for eligible tobacco producers as defined in section 204(b) of the Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 2000.
These payments will be automatically paid to eligible farmers who will not have to file any forms or visit any offices. All expenditures are required to be made no later than Sept. 30, 2001. Beginning Oct. 1, 2001, any remaining funds become unexpendable. Finally, maximum payment limitations for the 2001 crop year loan deficiency payments and marketing loan gains have been increased from $75,000 to $150,000.
The Act also provides for a $500,000 grant to each State and $1 million to Puerto Rico to promote agriculture. Additionally, each State will share $133.4 million in grants in amounts that represent the proportion of the value of specialty crop production in the State as set forth in the authorizing legislation.