U.S. sugar industry may see relief from low prices.
The USDA announced in a news release it will move ahead with a Payment-in-Kind program to help sugarbeet growers suffering from the lowest prices in 22 years.
It will offer growers the choice of exchanging their crop for sugar held by USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation. Growers can bid for this sugar by offering to divert acres from production. But farmers are limited to $20,000 in PIK payments.
The CCC is holding an inventory of 174,000 tons of refined sugar, an equivalent to 2 percent of the total sugar production forecast for the 2000 crop.
By reducing this year's harvest, the program may alleviate sugar overproduction, reduce crop loan forfeitures and dispose of government inventory.