November 18, 2002 11:00 pm

Producers of wool and mohair are eligible for loan deficiency payments or non-recourse marketing assistance loans — but time is short.

For the crop year 2002 only, producers who have already marketed their wool can apply for a loan deficiency payment even though they have lost beneficial interest.

These producers who have lost beneficial interest must apply for a payment no later than Dec. 6 at the Union County USDA Office in the Ag Services Center along McAlister Road.

Basic requirements to be eligible for the loan deficiency payment programs include that the wool or mohair must have been shorn from live animals of domestic origin in the United States; the sheep or goats must have been owned by the applicant for a minimum of 30 days prior to shearing; the applicant must comply with the Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conversation regulations; and for loans only, the wool must be in existence and in storable conditions, not yet sold, at present.

Loan rates established for 2002 through 2007 crop years are $1 per pound for graded wool, $.40 per pound for ungraded wool, and $4.20 per pound for mohair.

Graded wool must be core tested by a CCC-approved testing facility that measures fiber diameter and yield.

Premiums and discounts will apply to graded wool.

For more information, call the Farm Service Agency at 963-4178, ext. 2.