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CPAT urges lawmakers to finish disaster payment rules

As the 2009 corn harvest across Texas draws to a close, many producers in much of the south and central portions of the state have yet to receive disaster loss payments from the 2008 crop year. These producers will potentially have to wait until 2011 to receive payments on losses from the drought of 2009.

Central and South Texas have suffered through one of the worst droughts in recent history, resulting in crop losses expected to surpass $4.1 billion in 2009 alone.

Although the 2008 Farm Bill aims to address similar situations with existing disaster legislation, rules of implementation for programs, such as SURE (Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program) and LFP (Livestock Forage Disaster Program), remain unwritten, further delaying disaster payments to producers with crop losses from a year ago.

“With the lending season for the 2010 crop year underway, many producers are finding themselves in a bind as they attempt to borrow money for next year’s crop,” said David Gibson, CPAT executive vice president. “South Texas producers are particularly in a tough spot at this time as they are dealing with losses from both 2008 and 2009.”

Gibson said payments for losses from the last two years will not likely be available until after the beginning of 2010. “This creates a really difficult situation for producers until the rules for implementation are written.”

The Corn Producers Association of Texas (CPAT), along with the Southwest Council of Agribusiness, have urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to take immediate action in publishing how disaster payment rules will work to help producers affected by the payment delay. Many members of the Texas Congressional delegation have also asked USDA to expedite the process.

TAGS: Legislative
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