DCP PROGRAM DEADLINE
Farm operators are reminded that May 31 is the deadline to sign up for the DCP farm program for 2004 at County Farm Service Agency (FSA) Offices. Once producers sign up for the DCP program, they are eligible to receive one-half of the eligible direct payments for the 2004 crop year. The balance of the direct payment will be paid in October 2004. Direct payments are guaranteed payments each year, and are not affected by market prices for corn, soybeans, wheat, and other crops. Producers must also be enrolled in the DCP program to be eligible for any potential counter-cyclical payments on eligible 2004 crops. According to farm program rules in the 2002 Farm Bill, farm operators are required to sign up for the DCP program each year. This has been somewhat confusing to some producers, since they signed up only once for the entire seven years (1996-2002) in the last Farm Bill. After May 31, farm operators will have to pay a penalty of $100 per farm to enroll farms into the DCP program for 2004. Please contact County FSA Offices for more details.

Editors note: Kent Thiesse is a former University of Minnesota Extension educator and now is Vice President of MinnStar Bank, Lake Crystal, MN. You can contact him at 507-726-2137 or via e-mail at kent.thiesse@minnstarbank.com.