Jan 31 2003

SENATOR SHELBY ANNOUNCES SECOND COUNTER-CYCLICAL PAYMENTS TO ALABAMA FARMERS

USDA Decision In Response to Shelby Request Will Advance Payment Schedule

U.S. Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-AL) today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will offer second counter-cyclical program payments for 2002-crop upland cotton, rice and peanuts beginning February 3, 2003. Counter-cyclical payments are made to producers who participate in the Direct and Counter-cyclical Program (DCP), as authorized by the 2002 Farm Bill. The payments will be distributed at the maximum authorized rate of 70 percent of the total projected counter-cyclical payment for the respective crops.

“These payments will come at a crucial time,” said Senator Shelby. “The availability of partial counter-cyclical payments will assist producers hard-hit by losses associated with disastrous weather and chronically low prices in obtaining production financing for the upcoming crop season.”

In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman this week, Senator Shelby requested the second payment for Alabama farmers.

“I am grateful to Secretary Veneman for this quick response to my letter,” added Shelby. “Today’s decision by USDA takes full advantage of the changes made in the 2002 Farm Bill regarding counter-cyclical payments.”

For additional information, please visit the USDA Farm Service Agency’s Web site at: http://www.fsa.usda.gov