Agriculture Notes

AGRICULTURE NOTES

September 26, 2004

USDA launches Spanish-language site on Internet

In recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman recently launched a new Spanish-language Web site, www.usda.gov/EnEspanol, as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's efforts to expand access to USDA programs.

In addition to a new look and easier navigation, the Web site offers comprehensive information about food and nutrition programs, food safety tips, conservation programs and USDA Rural Development housing programs.

In 2000, the Census Bureau reported that the Hispanic population totaled more than 35 million, or about 13 percent of the total population.

The USDA is providing nutrition assistance, financing for housing, community services and small business opportunities in rural areas across the country to help Hispanics open businesses, buy their first homes and strengthen their community roots.

Information on these and other programs is available on the Web site.

USDA site lets producers receive online payments

Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has launched a nationwide Electronic Loan Deficiency Payment, or eLDP, service, which will enable producers to request and receive LDP payments online.

The Web site was launched in January and was the first phase in efforts to make online information more accessible to producers. Features include the customer statement, which puts a range of USDA services and programs into a single report.

Farmers can view their contracts in various conservation programs, payments under commodity programs and information on loans and crop insurance.

Farmers participating in the eLDP will no longer have to travel to USDA service centers to receive their benefits. Payments are automatically deposited in the producer's bank account, reducing paperwork and speeding up payment processing.

To participate in eLDP, producers must meet all eligibility requirements for marketing assistance loans and LDPs for barley, canola, corn, corn silage, dry peas, flaxseed, grain sorghum, honey, mustard, oats, peanuts, rapeseed, rice, safflower, soybeans, sunflower oil, sunflower seeds, wheat, wool, mohair and unshorn pelts.

The voluntary eLDP service has stringent security measures to protect participants' private information. Only authorized federal employees have access to information that is submitted electronically.

All participating producers must have an e-mail address and set up a customer profile through their local USDA service center that validates their farming and crop information.

To register, producers can go to www.sc.egov.usda.gov and complete form CCC634-E, "Request for Electronic Loan Deficiency Payment Services," or they can obtain the form at USDA service centers.

Information: Carroll County Farm Service Agency, 410-848- 2780.

Clovers 4-H club meets, plans upcoming activities

The Progressive Clovers 4-H club recently met to discuss field day, state dairy judging and state fair results, as well as Carroll County fair club and individual placings.

The group also made plans for upcoming activities, including National 4-H Week, a Halloween party, sub sale and elections. The Halloween party will be Oct. 16 at a member's home.

This month's meeting included demonstrations on field crops and flowers. Parker Dell and Austin Schwartzbeck gave a demonstration on corn silage. Nicki Reese did a demonstration on picking out wheat and Davis Schwartzbeck showed how to pick out alfalfa hay. There were flower demonstrations by Christine and Ashley Lease and Scott Davis.

The next meeting will be Oct. 11 and includes election of officers.

Information: 410-751-5299.

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