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USDA to aid sugar growers

8/02/2000- The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a new effort to help sugar beet and sugar cane farmers deal with low prices caused by an excess of domestic sugar. The Payment-In-Kind program offers sugar beet farmers the choice of exchanging their crop for sugar held by USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). Farmers can bid for this sugar by offering to divert acres from production. Farmers are limited to $20,000 in PIK payments. CCC is holding an inventory of 174,000 tons of refined sugar, an amount equivalent to 2 percent of the total sugar production forecast for the 2000 crop. The inventory was created when USDA purchased surplus sugar from producers to reduce the cost of expected loan forfeitures and to help stabilize market prices as well as from sugar that was recently forfeited to USDA.



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