USDA has announced it will issuing more than $950 million in Tobacco Transition Payment Program (TTPP) payments to quota holders and producers in 2010.

Quota holders and producers began entering into successor-in-interest contracts beginning Jan. 19, 2010, which will enable them to receive lump-sum payments by selling their remaining four TTPP payments.

Approximately $5.3 billion has been paid to tobacco quota holders and producers with this sixth round of payments. Since 2005, third parties bought more than 170,000 TTPP contracts worth approximately $2.9 billion.

TTPP, also called the "tobacco buy-out," helps tobacco quota holders and producers transition to the free market. The Fair and Equitable Tobacco Reform Act of 2004 ended the Depression-era tobacco quota program and established the TTPP. The program provides annual transitional payments for 10 years to eligible tobacco quota holders and producers. Payments began in 2005 and continue through 2014.

Payments are funded through assessments of approximately $10 billion on tobacco product manufacturers and importers.

For more information on TTPP and other FSA programs, visit your local FSA county office or http://www.fsa.usda.gov.