“The Commission is committed to doing a thorough assessment of the issue of payment limitations as directed under the 2002 farm bill,” said Commission Chairman Keith Collins, chief economist for USDA. “We consider public comments on the related issues a critical component of conducting our study.”

The 2002 farm bill created the Commission on the Application of Payment Limitations for Agriculture to study the effects of limitations on the receipt of direct payments, counter-cyclical payments, loan deficiency payments and marketing loan gains by producers and other entities.

The Commission is also authorized to make recommendations it deems appropriate which may include the feasibility of improving the application and effectiveness of payment limitations. During its initial meeting in January 2003, the Commission decided to obtain written comments from the public.

The Commission is to report the results of its study to President Bush, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry and the House Committee on Agriculture by May 13, 2003. USDA is providing administrative and other services needed to support the activities of the Commission.

The Federal Register Notice detailing the key issues about which the Commission wishes to gather public input can be accessed via the Farm Service Agency’s homepage at http://www.fsa.usda.gov.

Comments must be received in writing by March 24, 2003. Persons wishing to submit comments can do so by writing to: Payment Limit Commission Comments, USDA/FSA/EPAS, Stop 0508, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20250-0508 or by e-mail: payment.limit.comm@wdc.usda.gov.

For further information contact, John Jinkins by phone at (202) 720-2100, by fax at (202) 690-2186 or by e-mail at John.Jinkins@usda.gov.