Feb 4, 2011
Asparagus money available

USDA has a total of $15 million available to domestic asparagus producers to compensate them for marketing losses resulting from imports during the 2004 through 2007 crop years. Affected producers can apply for compensation beginning Feb. 7.

The Asparagus Revenue Market Loss Assistance Payment Program (ALAP) is authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill. The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) will provide an allocation of $7.5 million for payments for asparagus marketed as fresh, and $7.5 million for payments for processed asparagus. The sign-up period ends April 8.

ALAP provides a one-time payment to eligible asparagus producers. Maximum per-pound payment rates are $1.06 per pound for fresh-market asparagus and $1.08 per pound for processing asparagus. Payments to asparagus producers will be calculated for each farm based on its 2003 marketed production quantities, according to USDA.

If the total value of payments claimed at the maximum payment rates exceeds available funding, payments will be factored uniformly by CCC to limit total payments to the funds available. ALAP payments to producers will be capped at $100,000 per producer per marketing category (fresh and processed). Producers who have an average gross income in excess of $2.5 million for calendar years 2003 through 2005 will not be eligible for program benefits. Eligible producers must also have produced and marketed asparagus in commercial quantities in commercial markets in the United States during both the 2003 and 2007 crop years. A producer who did not harvest asparagus in 2007 does not meet that eligibility requirement.

For more information, call the nearest Farm Service Agency office or visit www.fsa.usda.gov.

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