The Farm Service Agency is now accepting applications for the new Crop Disaster Program (CDP) according to Bobby L. Schmidt, county executive director of the McCulloch County Farm Service Agency. The CDP provides financial assistance to farmers who are eligible for compensation or crop losses directly attributed to adverse weather and related conditions suffered in 2000. “Natural disasters are a constant threat to our farmers,” said Schmidt. “This program will help those who suffered losses last year. The sign-up period began Jan. 18, and the end of the sign-up period will be announced at a later date, once the program regulations are published in the Federal Register.” Producers should be aware that issuance of program payments is pending Federal Register publication as well. According to Schmidt, 2000 CDP payments will be calculated at 65 percent of the county rate for insured and non-insurable crops. For crops that are insurable in the county, but for which the producer did not purchase insurance, the payment will be calculated at 60 percent of the county rate. “Funding is not limited for the 2000 CDP, unlike last year,” said Schmidt. “Because it was fully funded, farmers will receive 100 percent of the final calculated payments as soon as program regulations are published’providing the McCulloch County FSA Committee has approved their CCC-557 (application), and the producer has provided all the necessary program documentation.” Producers wishing to sign up for 2000 CDP should call FSA for an appointment, as we intend to take applications by appointment only, in order to provide better service. Telephone (915) 597-1512, option 2 for an appointment.