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FSA unveils online service for loan deficiency payments

October 05, 2004

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has launched a nationwide service that will allow agricultural producers to request and receive Electronic-Loan Deficiency Payment payments online.

Colleen Cashell, executive director for USDA's Farm Service Agency in Washington County, said the program has been tested successfully as a pilot project in other parts of the nation the past two years.

"This service saves Internet savvy farmers time, energy and money, and it is an example of how USDA is harnessing the power of the Internet to better serve its customers," she said.

When local market prices are less than the marketing assistance loan rate, eligible producers can choose to receive loan deficiency payments for their crops in lieu of marketing assistance loans, Cashell said.

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Such a payment "is made based on the quantity of the commodity that is eligible to be pledged as collateral for a loan multiplied by the difference between the marketing assistance loan rate for the county and the daily announced loan repayment rate for the applicable commodity," she said.

To participate in this new service, producers must meet eligibility requirements for marketing assistance loans and loan deficiency payments. Eligible crops include: barley, canola, corn, corn silage, grain sorghum, honey, oats, soybeans, sunflower oil, sunflower seeds, wheat, wool, mohair and unshorn pelts.

Eligible producers can choose to receive loan deficiency payments for their crops in lieu of marketing assistance loans for crops stored on the farm.

The voluntary electronic loan deficiency payment service "has stringent security measures to protect participants' private information. Just like traditional LDPs, only authorized federal employees are given access to information that is submitted electronically," Cashell said.

All participating producers must have an e-mail address and set up a producer profile that validates their farming and crop information, she said.

To register, producers can go to: www.sc.egov.usda.gov and complete form CCC-634-E, "Request for Electronic Loan Deficiency Payment Services" or obtain the form at USDA Service Centers.

Eligible producers must have an active USDA eAuthentication Level 2 account, which requires filling out an online registration form at www.sc.egov.usda.gov followed by a visit to the local USDA Service Center for identity verification.

The program allows producers to apply for and receive LDPs online from places such as their homes or offices.

Because farmers no longer have to travel to USDA Service Centers to get their benefits, the program reduces paperwork load and speeds up payment processing, Cashell said.

For more information, contact Cashell's office at 301-797-0500, ext. 2.

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