USDA began distributing the first payments authorized in the new farm bill Monday in the amount of up to $1.15 billion in advance direct payments to those farmers enrolled in the direct and counter-cyclical payment program. The Commodity Credit Corporation reduces the final direct payment by any advance direct payment. Final direct payments will be issued after October 1, 2008.
In a statement, Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer said, "we pledged to make the Direct and Counter-cyclical payment Program available to producers as quickly as possible. Signup began June 25 and today we are distributing payments to those producers who elected to receive a 22% advance payment at enrollment."
The USDA statement explained "to receive direct payments, an individual or entity must be a producer on a farm with base acres enrolled in the DCP. Base acres are established on a farm for covered commodities and peanuts based on historical plantings."
For each covered commodity and peanuts, the direct payment for 2008 equals 85% of the farm's base acreage for the crop, times the direct payment yield for that crop, times the direct payment rate for that crop. Commodities with base acres eligible for direct payments and their 2008 rates are: barley, $0.24 per bushel; corn, $0.28 per bushel; grain sorghum, $0.35 per bushel; oats, $0.024 per bushel; soybeans, $0.44 per bushel; other oilseeds (canola, crambe, flaxseed, mustard seed, rapeseed, safflower, sesame seed, sunflower seed), $0.80 per hundredweight; peanuts, $36 per ton; long grain and medium grain rice, $2.35 per hundredweight; upland cotton, $0.0667 per pound; and wheat, $0.52 per bushel.