USDA has announced that it will wait for final Congressional action on the Farm Bill before determining annual loan rates for 2002 crops. Ag Secretary Ann Veneman wants to “wait to announce loan rates until the intent of the Congress becomes more clear through the farm bill process.”

If it appears Congress will not be able to complete a farm bill in time for this year's crops, USDA will then make the determinations and announcement.

Announcements in previous years have varied from as early as Dec. 18 to as late as April 23. The current loan rate for corn is $1.89/bu; for soybeans, $5.26/bu.