The 2008 Farm Bill authorized the Marketing Assistance Loan (MAL) program and the Loan Deficiency Payment (LDP) program for graded and ungraded wool, mohair and unshorn pelts for the 2008 through 2012 crop years. Although local Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices have been cleared to accept applications for the current crop year, they have not yet been authorized to issue payments.
Due to the change in the administration and new transition procedures, it was necessary for the MAL and LDP regulations to undergo a new clearance. Part of this clearance process is the publication of the new regulations in the Federal Register. The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) has been informed that the regulations are drafted but are waiting on approval from the Office of Management and Budget before being published in the register. No publication date has been announced.
"The ASI office has been receiving calls from producers concerned about payment delays," commented Peter Orwick, ASI executive director. "We have been told that payments will be made but that no time table has been established.
"I would advise producers to stay in contact with your U.S. Representatives and Senators and urge them to request prompt consideration of the regulations. A backlog has occurred with dozens of Farm Bill programs, existing and new, awaiting regulations to allow processing and payment," concluded Orwick. "New programs like the livestock indemnity program are being held up even though the Farm Bill was completed nearly a year ago."