In another indication that farm programs are working as designed, USDA announced no partial 2007-crop-year counter-cyclical payments would be made for corn, grain sorghum, soybeans and other oilseed base acres.

Agriculture Department officials said no payments would be made because market prices for each of those crops or crop categories are higher than the target prices for those crops. Corn prices have been pushing $6 per bushel; wheat, $10; and soybeans, $13.

“Average market price projections are above levels that would trigger these payments,” USDA said in a press release. “The 2002 farm bill requires that, if triggered, these payments be made for the 2007 crop after the first six months of the marketing year, which began on Sept. 1, 2007, for these commodities.”

Producers enrolled in the farm bill’s Direct and Counter-cyclical Program may receive Counter-cyclical Payments when “effective” prices for eligible commodities are less than their respective “target” prices. USDA calculates CCPs based on historical base acreage and payment yields, not current production.

For the 2007 crop, USDA is to make the final calculation after the end of the marketing year. The average price for the marketing year will be available on Sept. 29, 2008.

Current market price projections for the 2007 crop are above the price levels that trigger these payments by 70 percent for corn, 76 percent for grain sorghum and 94 percent for soybeans. USDA calculated CCP rates for these commodities using the February World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, released Feb. 8.

USDA announced last Dec. 3 that producers who are enrolled in the DCP and have wheat, barley and/or oats base acres would not receive partial CCPs because average market price projections for those commodities exceeded levels that trigger these payments.

On Feb. 9, USDA announced that producers with enrolled upland cotton and/or peanuts base acres would receive an estimated $300 million and $15 million, respectively, in partial payments and that producers with enrolled rice base acres would not receive partial CCPs because the average market price projection exceeded the level that triggers these payments.

The 2002 farm bill requires that any over-payments to producers must be repaid.

More information on the DCP is available at local Farm Service Agency offices and on FSA’s Web site at: http://www.fsa.usda.gov.

e-mail: flaws@farmpress.com