Time is running out for farmers to refund up to $400 million in advance crop subsidies they received from the federal government in 1988 and 1989 when they were hit by drought.
The oft-delayed deadline for giving back the advance deficiency payments is July 31, and no change in the repayment date is likely this time.The deadline already has been put off three times, and Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., tried unsuccessfully this spring to get Congress to forgive the debt for some farmers who faced drought again this year.
"It's something Kent tried very, very hard to accomplish but wasn't able to do so," said Conrad's press secretary, Laurie Boeder.
County offices of the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service are to send notices later this month to the farmers who owe the refunds, said ASCS spokesman Ray Wagoner.
Although the deadline is July 31, USDA will not charge interest on the amount it is owed for 30 days.