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USDA schedules signup for peanut quota buyout

Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman announced the signup period for the new peanut quota buyout program authorized in the 2003 farm bill will begin Sept. 3 and end Nov. 22.

The secretary said buyout payments will be made after all program regulations have been issued. No timetable was given for the completion of that task, but USDA officials said they are working to complete the regulations for all the new farm bill programs as quickly as possible.

“The 2002 farm bill makes significant changes in the peanut program by replacing the peanut quota system that was established in the 1930s with direct and counter-cyclical payments to eligible peanut producers,” Veneman said. “USDA continues to aggressively implement the new farm bill and this announcement today is another positive step in that regard.”

Generally, to be eligible for the buyout program, a person must have owned 2001 basic peanut quota as of May 13, 2002. Eligible persons will have the option of receiving a buyout payment of 11 cents per quota pound owned in five equal installments or a lump sum payment of 55 cents per pound.

Letters were sent to producers in July asking them to update their peanut acreage history and yield information with USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA). The information will be used to determine each peanut producer's peanut base and yield for direct and counter-cyclical peanut payments for 2002 through 2007 under the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, the 2002 Farm Bill.

Signup for the direct and counter-cyclical payments for all of the farm bill commodity programs will begin Oct. 1, according to an earlier USDA announcement.

Peanut quota holders on record in their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office will soon be notified by letter of their potential quota buyout eligibility.

For more information on this or other USDA programs, contact your local USDA Service Center or FSA county office.

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