OXFORD – Farmers who plant corn and other grain commodities have until June 1 to enroll in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2004 Direct and Counter-Cyclical Program. The federal farm program, administered by the Farm Service Agency, provides growers a level of economic stability.

Applications received after June 1 will be considered late-filed. Late-filed applications will be accepted through Sept. 30, but will incur a $100 late filing fee per farm.

Producers also have the option of not participating in the program for 2004. Any farm not enrolled in the program will retain eligibility for the 2005 program.

Advance payments can be issued once a contract is approved and other required eligibility forms and 2004 rental agreements, if applicable, are file. Payments are computed using 85 percent of the applicable crop base acreage times the program payment yield times the payment rate applicable to the crop. Producers will receive direct payments at rates established by statute regardless of market prices.

Counter-cyclical payment rates are made when the average market price falls below the target price minus the direct payment rate. The earliest possible counter-cyclical payment would be in October.

Farmers who want to apply for the 2004 program or need additional information should contact their local FSA office.

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