Agriculture Notes

Agriculture Notes

March 16, 2003

Deadline to sign up for crop insurance falls tomorrow

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency reminds farmers and ranchers interested in purchasing crop insurance that the closing date to sign up for coverage for this year is tomorrow.

Throughout the year, the agency conducts meetings and provides educational resources to producers regarding crop insurance and risk management tools.

Information regarding coverage is available at www.rma. usda.gov/ and at local Farm Service Agency offices. The Carroll County office is at 1004 Littlestown Pike, Westminster.

Information: 410-848-2780.

Extension office to join organic-farming broadcast

Maryland Cooperative Extension, Carroll County office, will participate in a national satellite broadcast on "The National Organic Standards: What Do They Mean to You" from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Friday at Carroll Community College.

The program will originate from Washington State University and feature experts in the field, including an organic producer, in a discussion of "Background/History of Organic Certification and the USDA National Organic Program," "The Growth in the Organic Food Industry," "The Principles of Organic Farming," "An Overview of Practice Standards," "Organic System Plans," "Recordkeeping," "The Certification Process," "Materials," "Areas of Controversy" and "Information Resources."

Participants at satellite locations will be given phone and fax numbers and e-mail addresses for questions. The program is free, but registration is required.

Registration and information: 410-386-2760.

Loan deficiency payments available for unshorn pelts

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that loan deficiency payments (LDPs) are available to eligible producers of nongraded wool in the form of unshorn pelts for the 2002 through 2007 crop years.

An unshorn pelt is the removed skin and attached wool from a slaughtered lamb that has never been shorn. Unshorn pelts are ineligible for marketing assistance loans.

Eligible producers of unshorn pelts who lost beneficial interest before the end of the 2002 crop year Dec. 31, and those who lost beneficial interest during the 2003 crop year, from Jan. 1 to Feb. 21, are eligible to request an LDP based on the date beneficial interest was lost.

Producers must submit a CCC-709-PELT application by March 31. For the 2003-2007 crop years, the final loan availability date is Jan. 31 after the year the unshorn lamb was slaughtered.

To be eligible for LDPs for unshorn pelts, producers must have beneficial interest in the commodity; own the unshorn lamb for at least 30 days before slaughter; and sell the unshorn lamb for immediate slaughter, or slaughter the unshorn lamb for personal use. The unshorn pelt also must be produced from a domestic, live unshorn lamb at the time beneficial interest is lost.

The nongraded (greasy) wool regional posted prices used to establish the LDP rate for unshorn pelts are announced at 3 p.m. each Tuesday.

Information: 410-848-2780.

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