07/26/05 — Tobacco buyout payments near, FSA official says

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Tobacco buyout payments near, FSA official says

By Turner Walston
Published in News on July 26, 2005 1:48 PM

Tobacco farmers and quota owners can expect to soon be receiving their buyout agreements in the mail, said Rick Tharrington, executive director of the Farm Service Agency in Wayne County.

Tharrington said producers and growers should receive payments by Sept. 30. An approval letter will be mailed to payment recipients, along with a copy of the contract, Tharrington said.

"Everyone will receive a copy of the approved contract and an approval letter," he said.

Tharrington said recipients should make note of the contract number rather than the farm number involved, as the payment document will use the contract as a reference point.

"It is very important that they keep track of their contract numbers when referencing the pay sheets," Tharrington said. "Everything's referenced to a contract number."

Tharrington said his office is working to make payments as quickly as possible, and is processing about 100 contracts daily.

The Wayne County FSA office registered 2,131 grower contracts and 3,735 quota holder contracts during the buyout sign-up period. A total of 13,421,345 pounds of tobacco quota was involved.

At $7 per pound, county quota holders should receive $9.38 million in the first of 10 annual payments. At $3 per pound, growers will receive about $4 million.

FSA employees also are preparing direct deposit payments, Tharrington said. He added that some growers who chose to receive direct deposits may get paid by check for the first payment, but should receive electronic deposit for subsequent payments.

Beginning next year, the annual payments will be made in January.

People who do not receive payments by Sept. 30 should contact the Farm Service Agency.

In the meantime, Tharrington said, "We ask that everyone please be patient."