09/16/05 — Most buyout payments have been received

View Archive

Most buyout payments have been received

By Turner Walston
Published in News on September 16, 2005 1:52 PM

Local tobacco growers and quota owners who have not yet received their initial buyout payments should look for them soon, said Rick Tharrington, county executive director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency.

"We are finished," Tharrington said today. "Two or three we're waiting on revisions, and there are several that haven't gotten ownership papers completed," he said. "But we are 99.98 percent completed, and that'll round to 100."

Tharrington said over $9.3 million had been paid to 3,722 quota owners in the county, with just under $4 million paid out to 2,133 producers.

The federal government approved a buyout last year that paid $7 per pound to quota owners and $3 per pound to farmers. A number of recipients had been speaking with financial institutions about lump-sum payments, Tharrington said, although those don't take effect until the second payment, in January.

"I think it's commendable to the office staff here that they've finished things when they did," he said.

Tharrington said the cooperation between producers and owners helped the payment process run smoothly.

The work isn't over for the Farm Service Agency, he said.

"Right now we're waiting for the next phase and what kind of work will be applied to the tobacco payment process," he said.