01/13/06 — Second round of tobacco payments are on the way

View Archive

Second round of tobacco payments are on the way

By Turner Walston
Published in News on January 13, 2006 1:46 PM

It's the second time around for tobacco buyout payments, and a Farm Service Agency says the process should go a little more smoothly.

The agency will begin mailing the second round of payments for the Tobacco Transition Payment Program, commonly known as the tobacco buyout, later this month.

Payments could begin to be mailed out as early as next week, said Rick Tharrington, FSA director for Wayne County.

The Wayne FSA is waiting for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to send the proper software to process the payments. "We'll be at their mercy," he said.

"I think it may be slow, but not as slow as last summer's payment process," Tharrington said of this year's round of payments.

Holders of 381 of the 5,902 contracts in the county opted for a lump sum payment through third-party financial institutions, Tharrington said.

Over the 10 years of the program, about $13.4 million will be disbursed to Wayne County tobacco growers and owners.

Tharrington said producers and owners who changed checking accounts or address information should contact the FSA office to ensure payment is delivered correctly.

During the last payment round, some producers and owners who requested direct deposits received paper checks due to timing constraints. "That ought to be all worked out this time," Tharrington said.

With 1,200 counties nationwide attempting to make tobacco payments on the same day, Tharrington said there could be some delays.

"Logistically, that could pose a problem," he said. "But we're going to start, and we won't stop until we finish."