USDA announces programs for apple growers, wool and mohair producers

WASHINGTON – The USDA announced that sign up for the Apple Market Loss Assistance and Wool and Mohair Loss Assistance programs have begun. USDA also announced details on how to receive grazing payments in lieu of loan deficiency payments for the 2001 crop year.

Apples.

Under the AMLA about $100 million will be used to provide assistance to eligible growers for their 1998 and 1999 apple production. The payments will help offset economic losses due to low prices in the U.S. apple market. Growers can receive a payment per pound for the higher of either 1998 or 1999 apple production, and they will be paid on a maximum of 1.6 million pounds per separate apple operation.

To receive cash payments, eligible apple producers must:

* have produced and harvested apples during the 1998 and/or 1999 crop year;

* not have received compensation from any other federal program, other than crop insurance, for the same market loss;

* apply for cash payments during the application period for each apple operation. The deadline for application under the AMLA program will be announced later.

Wool and mohair.

USDA also will pay eligible wool and mohair producers who suffered economic loss due to low prices about $20 million for the 2000 marketing year. The payment rate will not exceed 40 cents per pound.

Producers wanting to participate in the wool and mohair program must file an application for payment by April 13. Eligible wool or mohair must have been shorn in the United States, and livestock must have been owned for 30 days or more prior to shearing. The wool or mohair must have been produced during the 2000 marketing year.

Grazing.

USDA can now begin payments to eligible producers who elect to use acreage planted to wheat, barley, or oats to graze livestock and give up any other harvesting. The payment will be determined using the loan deficiency payment rate in effect as of the date the agreement.

For more details on these and other USDA programs, contact a USDA Service Center or Farm Service Agency County Office.

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