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USA Rice Reports Major Change to Farm Bill Program Payments Print E-mail
ga-opening of 114th congress john owen-150106JENNINGS, LA -- (February 11, 2015) -- Last night at the annual Louisiana growers meeting, USA Rice Producers' Group Chairman John Owen announced that USA Rice, working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency (FSA), has secured an accelerated payment calendar for rice farmers.  Producers of medium and long grain rice in the mid-South will receive their Farm Bill program payment in early November and it will be based on final price numbers in the five southern rice states.

Under the original National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reporting calendar, Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) program payments to rice farmers were scheduled to come out as late as February 2016.  Recognizing this put a financial strain on rice farmers,  Owen and USA Rice Federation Chairman Dow Brantley sent a detailed letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in January suggesting a different methodology be adopted to determine timing of the ARC and PLC payments.

At a House Ag Committee hearing this morning, Representative Rick Crawford (R-AR) personally thanked Secretary Vilsack and the FSA team for "going out of your way to help America's rice farmers.  Timely payment is of the essence for producers seeking to repay loans and to demonstrate to lenders that they can sustain cash flow for another year."

"It was great to be able to announce this positive development at a growers' meeting," said Owen.  "We appreciate the Secretary's willingness to work with USA Rice on behalf of America's rice farmers."

Photo caption:  USA Rice Producers'Group Chairman John Owen
 
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