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USDA Announces Crop Loan Rates for Pulses
August 21, 2008

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer announced on June 12th that the USDA had delivered its first actions implementing the new farm bill. Within three weeks of commodity title enactment in the 2008 Farm Bill, USDA is implementing marketing assistance loan and loan deficiency payment (LDP) provisions.

We know we can rely on
Americas farmers and ranchers to grow our food, and they can rely on USDA to have the new farm bill ready, said Schafer. The Department of Agriculture is putting into action the thousands of pages of new farm bill law for crop production, research, marketing, nutrition, conservation, food aid and rural development. Expect more on the farm bill from USDA soon.

USDA also announced the county loan rates for the 2008 crop of wheat, corn, soybeans, and regional loan rates for 2008 pulse crops for small chickpeas, dry peas, and lentils. With enactment of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, (the 2008 farm bill) national loan rates for the 2008 crops of wheat, feed grains, oilseeds, and pulses are at the following levels: As required by the 2008 Farm Bill, these national loan rates are established at the same levels as those established for the 2007 crop, with the exception of rice. Starting with the 2008 crop, the 2008 Farm Bill specifies national loan rates for both long grain rice and medium grain rice.

Regional Pulse Loans Updated - The 2008 crop West Region dry pea loan rate is $6.58 per hundredweight; the East Region dry pea loan rate is $6.14 per hundredweight. The West Region lentil loan rate is $14.23 per hundredweight; the East Region lentil loan rate is $10.74 per hundredweight. These rates average to the national rate based on recent regional production shares.

The West Region includes the Palouse (
Idaho, Oregon and Washington) and other states west of the Rocky Mountains (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah). The East Region includes Montana, North Dakota and all other states not in the West Region.

USDA determined that insufficient reliable market information is available to establish regional loan rates for small chickpeas. Therefore, the national rate of $7.43 per hundredweight applies for all producing regions. Under provisions of the new 2008 Farm Bill, producers of large chickpeas will not be eligible for marketing assistance loans until the 2009 crop year. Marketing assistance loans provide producers interim financing at harvest time to meet cash flow needs without having to sell their commodities when market prices are typically at harvest-time lows. A producer who is eligible to obtain a loan, but who agrees to forgo the loan, may obtain a loan deficiency payment if such payments are available.

Farm Bill Commodity Provisions of Interest to Dry Bean Growers

" Planting Flexibility

- F&V general planting restrictions are retained

- Pilot program for 75,000 A of processing vegetablesstarts in 09

- States: IN, IL, IA, MI (9,000 A), MN (34,000 A), OH and WI

- Each has temporary drop in base acres during the pilot

- Periodic evaluations and report to Congress

" New large chickpea program established

- $11.28/cwt loan rate and

- $12.81/cwt target price for countercyclical payment

" Permanent disaster program established

- Compliments crop insurance carried by producer

- Additional assistance based on up to 90% of whole farm crop revenue

- Assistance capped at $100,000 per entity

- Assistance applies to livestock, fish, bees, as well

- Would be funded by transfer of customs receipts (3.08%) from Treasury

" Specialty Crop Research and Marketing

- Extends State Specialty Crop block grant program with mandatory funding of $10M in FY 08, $49M in FY 09, and $55M/yr thereafter
- Establishes several programs, including specialty crops, for plant pests and diseasesdetection, surveillance, preventionstarting in FY 09 with mandatory $12M, increasing to $50M/yr
- Establishes Specialty Crops Research Initiativematching fund scientific research grants to entitiesmandatory $230M five year fundingadditional $20M/yr also authorizedUSDA just announced $28.4M available for FY 08

- Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops funding increased to $4M presently, with annual funding growing to $9M

" Domestic Nutrition Programs

" Purchases of commodities for distribution under the Emergency Food Assistance Program are increased to $190M in FY 08, and to $250M in FY 09 and fiscal years beyond with an inflation adjustment added

" An additional $190M in FY 08 is added for Section 32 purchases of fruits, vegetables and nuts for distribution in domestic nutrition assistance programs

- such funding in addition to present $200M/yr

- Funding increases to $212M/yr by FY 12 and thereafter

- AMS requested comments on commodities to use

" Trade

- MAP funding continues at $200M through FY 12

- FMD funding continued at $34.5M through FY 12

" Food Aid

- Language requiring U.S. commodity use retained, although pilot program for local purchase at $15M/year for 4 years is mandated

- A minimum safe box for annual non-emergency Title II programs, starting in FY09 at $375M, then increasing to $450M/yr

- McGovern/Dole funding increases by $84M until expended

" COOL to be implemented by 2008





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Northarvest Bean Growers Association | 50072 East Lake Seven Road | Frazee, MN 56544
Ph: 218-334-6351 | Fax: 218-334-6360 | Email: