Ag Policy Blog
Chris Clayton DTN Ag Policy Editor

Monday 10/21/13

USDA Checks Are in the Mail

OMAHA (DTN) -- USDA announced Monday that conservation checks were being sent out and commodity payments would start to go out later this week for commodity and conservation programs.

Commodity and conservation payments were delayed because of the federal shutdown that began Oct. 1 and ended last Thursday.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA has begun distributing Conservation Reserve Program annual rental payments across the country.

More than 1.7 million Direct Payments for the 2013 crop year, totaling roughly $4.8 billion, will start being sent out Oct. 24, as well as checks for the Average Crop Revenue Election program from 2012.

“Farmers, ranchers and rural landowners across the country count on USDA programs and the payment delays due to the shutdown were an unnecessary burden,” Vilsack said. “USDA has prioritized making these scheduled payments without any further delay and Farm Service Agency staff have worked hard to get this assistance out the door as quickly as possible.”

Producers will receive payments on almost 700,000 CRP contracts on 390,000 farms covering 26.8 million acres, USDA stated.

USDA also noted the agency's current limbo status on farm programs until new legislation is signed by the president. The 2008 farm bill expired on Sept. 30. As USDA stated," Effective Oct. 1, 2013, FSA does not have legislative authority to approve or process applications for these programs."

The House and Senate now have conferees to compromise on differences between their respective versions of a new bill. Formal talks are expected to begin, but have not been announced.

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Posted at 4:45PM CDT 10/21/13 by Chris Clayton
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