Local Farmers React to USDA Decision to Make Tobacco Buyout Payment In Full
Danville, VA - Tobacco producers across the state will get the last of the tobacco buyout payments from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.Sequestration threatened to cut the final pay out of the Tobacco Transition Payment Program by 7.2%.
Now, the USDA is saying producers and land-owners will get their money, but not all at once.
About 92% will go out in February and the rest will be held back until October.
Pittsylvania County Farm Bureau President Jay Calhoun says he does not know the reason for the split payment. Calhoun, however, says he finds it troubling that banks and lending companies, who are also paid back as part of the Transition Payment Program, will be getting payment in full next month.
"I don't know what exactly was politics or what was just, within the administration, how they handled it. But it does make me question why they chose one business over another business to make whole up front, " Calhoun said.
When the potential cuts were first announced, some questioned the legality of the government's use of private funds.
After doing some digging they found that the government could take the funds, but they had to pay it back within a 12 month period.