The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) announced the loan rates for 2002 crop sugar as part of USDA's ongoing implementation of the 2002 farm bill.

The CCC will offer nonrecourse loans to sugar beet and sugarcane processors as required by the 2002 farm bill. The national loan rates for 2002 crop raw cane sugar will be 18 cents per pound and for refined beet sugar, 22.90 cents per pound, unchanged from last year. These national loan rates are adjusted for location, reflecting freight differentials.

The fiscal 2003 raw cane sugar loan rates (cents per pound of cane sugar, raw value) are: Florida, 17.73; Hawaii, 17.33; Louisiana, 18.44; Texas, 18.11; Puerto Rico, 18.33.

The loan rate is 18 cents per pound for any raw cane sugar processed in Hawaii and Puerto Rico but it's pledged as collateral while stored on the U.S. mainland.

Sugar beet and sugarcane processors who receive CCC loans in fiscal 2003 are required to make minimum payments for all sugar beets and sugarcane received from growers. Processors failing to meet the required minimum grower payment will be ineligible for loans during the subsequent crop year.

Sugar beet grower minimum payments are the amount specified in the grower/processor contract. Sugarcane producers must pay at least the following payment levels, on the average, to their growers. A grower's payment level can be adjusted according to the quality adjustment method in the grower/processor contract:

Florida, $25.00 per net ton; Hawaii, $23.39 per net ton; Louisiana, 23.98 per gross ton; Texas, $21.99 per gross ton; Puerto Rico, $14.94 per gross ton.

The refined beet sugar processing regions and applicable 2002-crop (fiscal 2003) loan rates (cents per pound of refined beet sugar) are:

Michigan and Ohio, 23.69; Minnesota and the eastern half of North Dakota, 22.84; northeastern quarter of Colorado, Nebraska and the southeastern quarter of Wyoming, 23.86; Montana, northwestern quarter of Wyoming and the western half of North Dakota, 22.87; Idaho, Oregon and Washington, 22.19; California, 23.56.