Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is reminding tobacco quota holders and producers not currently enrolled in the Tobacco Transition Payment Program (TTPP) they have until Nov. 2, 2009, to sign-up to receive a 2010 TTPP payment.

The TTPP, also known as the tobacco buy-out, provides approximately $10 billion in 10 annual installments to eligible tobacco quota holders and producers from 2005 through 2014. Payments for 2010 through 2014 will be issued annually in January.

USDA also reminds tobacco quota holders and producers they have until Nov. 2, 2009, to sell their remaining five annual payments to a successor to receive a lump-sum payment. Certain requirements must be met to qualify for lump-sum payments. More information on lump-sum payments is available at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/tobacco or by calling the USDA Farm Service Agency at (202) 720-7901. Contract holders who do not complete this process by Nov. 2, 2009, can arrange for the sale of their remaining four payments beginning Jan. 19, 2010.

The TTPP marks the end of federal tobacco marketing quota and price support loan programs. This program helps American tobacco quota holders and producers transition to the free market. Payments are made from assessments on tobacco product importers and manufacturers.

For more information about TTPP, please visit your FSA county office or http://www.fsa.usda.gov/tobacco.