AGRIBUSINESS: USDA Must Ask Thousands To Pay Money Back

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Under sequestration - USDA will be required to ask farmers to pay back 151-million dollars received under the Milk Income Loss Contract Program, the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program and the Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance program.

According to U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack - about 350-thousand producers will be asked to pay back small amounts of money. Because more than 90-percent of those producers get direct payments - Vilsack said the agency will just reduce those payments to eliminate the need for producers to send a check.

Vilsack pointed out that Congress has cut USDA more than other agencies. He said the sequester has required a 5.1-percent cut to every line item in the agency budget and the continuing resolution will cut another 2.5-percent for a total cut of 7.6-percent in fiscal year 2013.