[USC02] 7 USC CHAPTER 100, SUBCHAPTER II: PRODUCTION FLEXIBILITY CONTRACTS
Result 1 of 1
   
 
7 USC CHAPTER 100, SUBCHAPTER II: PRODUCTION FLEXIBILITY CONTRACTS
From Title 7—AGRICULTURECHAPTER 100—AGRICULTURAL MARKET TRANSITION

SUBCHAPTER II—PRODUCTION FLEXIBILITY CONTRACTS

§7211. Authorization for use of production flexibility contracts

(a) Offer and terms

The Secretary shall offer to enter into a production flexibility contract with an eligible owner or producer described in subsection (b) on a farm containing eligible cropland. Under the terms of a contract, the owner or producer shall agree, in exchange for annual contract payments, to—

(1) comply with applicable conservation requirements under subtitle B of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3811 et seq.);

(2) comply with applicable wetland protection requirements under subtitle C of title XII of the Act (16 U.S.C. 3821 et seq.);

(3) comply with the planting flexibility requirements of section 7218 of this title; and

(4) use the land subject to the contract for an agricultural or related activity, but not for a nonagricultural commercial or industrial use, as determined by the Secretary.

(b) Eligible owners and producers described

The following producers and owners shall be eligible to enter into a contract:

(1) An owner of eligible cropland who assumes all or a part of the risk of producing a crop.

(2) A producer (other than an owner) on eligible cropland with a share-rent lease of the eligible cropland, regardless of the length of the lease, if the owner enters into the same contract.

(3) A producer (other than an owner) on eligible cropland who cash rents the eligible cropland under a lease expiring on or after September 30, 2002, in which case the owner is not required to enter into the contract.

(4) A producer (other than an owner) on eligible cropland who cash rents the eligible cropland under a lease expiring before September 30, 2002. The owner of the eligible cropland may also enter into the same contract. If the producer elects to enroll less than 100 percent of the eligible cropland in the contract, the consent of the owner is required.

(5) An owner of eligible cropland who cash rents the eligible cropland and the lease term expires before September 30, 2002, if the tenant declines to enter into a contract. In the case of an owner covered by this paragraph, contract payments shall not begin under a contract until the lease held by the tenant ends.

(6) An owner or producer described in any preceding paragraph regardless of whether the owner or producer purchased catastrophic risk protection for a 1996 crop under section 1508(b) of this title.

(c) Tenants and sharecroppers

In carrying out this subchapter, the Secretary shall provide adequate safeguards to protect the interests of tenants and sharecroppers.

(d) Eligible cropland described

Land shall be considered to be cropland eligible for coverage under a contract only if the land has contract acreage attributable to the land and—

(1) for at least 1 of the 1991 through 1995 crops, at least a portion of the land was enrolled in the acreage reduction program authorized for a crop of a contract commodity under section 101B, 103B, 105B, or 107B of the Agricultural Act of 1949 or was considered planted;

(2) was subject to a conservation reserve contract under section 1231 of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3831) whose term expired, or was voluntarily terminated, on or after January 1, 1995; or

(3) is released from coverage under a conservation reserve contract by the Secretary during the period beginning on January 1, 1995, and ending on the date specified in section 7212(a)(2) of this title.

(e) Quantity of eligible cropland covered by contract

Subject to subsection (b)(4), an owner or producer may enroll as contract acreage all or a portion of the eligible cropland on the farm.

(f) Voluntary reduction in contract acreage

Subject to subsection (b)(4), an owner or producer who enters into a contract may subsequently reduce the quantity of contract acreage covered by the contract.

(Pub. L. 104–127, title I, §111, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 898.)

References in Text

The Food Security Act of 1985, referred to in subsec. (a)(1), (2), is Pub. L. 99–198, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1354, as amended. Subtitles B and C of title XII of the Act are classified generally to subchapters II (§3811 et seq.) and III (§3821 et seq.), respectively, of chapter 58 of Title 16, Conservation. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title of 1985 Amendment note set out under section 1281 of this title and Tables.

This subchapter, referred to in subsec. (c), was in the original "this subtitle", meaning subtitle B (§§111–118) of title I of Pub. L. 104–127, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 898, which enacted this subchapter and amended sections 1308, 1308–1, and 1308–3 of this title. For complete classification of subtitle B to the Code, see Tables.

Sections 101B, 103B, 105B, and 107B of the Agricultural Act of 1949, referred to in subsec. (d)(1), were classified to sections 1441–2, 1444–2, 1444f, and 1445b–3a, respectively, of this title prior to repeal by section 7301(b)(2)(A)–(D) of this title.

Violation of Contract; Denial of Funds for Salaries

Pub. L. 104–180, title VII, §726, Aug. 6, 1996, 110 Stat. 1600, provided that: "None of the funds made available in this Act [see Tables for classification] may be used to pay the salaries of employees of the Department of Agriculture who make payments pursuant to a production flexibility contract entered into under section 111 of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (Public Law 104–127; 7 U.S.C. 7211) when it is made known to the Federal official having authority to obligate or expend such funds that the land covered by that production flexibility contract is not being used for the production of an agricultural commodity or is not devoted to a conserving use, unless it is also made known to that Federal official that the lack of agricultural production or the lack of a conserving use is a consequence of drought, flood, or other natural disaster."

§7212. Elements of contracts

(a) Time for contracting

(1) Commencement

To the extent practicable, the Secretary shall commence entering into contracts not later than 45 days after April 4, 1996.

(2) Deadline

Except as provided in paragraph (3), the Secretary may not enter into a contract after August 1, 1996.

(3) Conservation reserve lands

(A) In general

At the beginning of each fiscal year, the Secretary shall allow an eligible owner or producer on a farm covered by a conservation reserve contract entered into under section 3831 of title 16 that terminates after the date specified in paragraph (2) to enter into or expand a production flexibility contract to cover the contract acreage of the farm that was subject to the former conservation reserve contract.

(B) Amount

Contract payments made for contract acreage under this paragraph shall be made at the rate and amount applicable to the annual contract payment level for the applicable crop. For the fiscal year in which the conservation reserve contract is terminated, the owner or producer subject to the production flexibility contract may elect to receive either contract payments or a prorated payment under the conservation reserve contract, but not both.

(b) Duration of contract

(1) Beginning date

The term of a contract shall begin with—

(A) the 1996 crop of a contract commodity; or

(B) in the case of acreage that was subject to a conservation reserve contract described in subsection (a)(3), the date the production flexibility contract was entered into or expanded to cover the acreage.

(2) Ending date

The term of a contract shall extend through the 2002 crop, unless earlier terminated by the owner or producer.

(c) Estimation of contract payments

At the time the Secretary enters into a contract, the Secretary shall provide an estimate of the minimum contract payments anticipated to be made during at least the first fiscal year for which contract payments will be made.

(d) Time for payment

(1) In general

An annual contract payment shall be made not later than September 30 of each of fiscal years 1996 through 2002.

(2) Advance payments

(A) Fiscal year 1996

At the option of the owner or producer, 50 percent of the contract payment for fiscal year 1996 shall be made not later than 30 days after the date on which the contract is entered into and approved by the Secretary and the owner or producer.

(B) Subsequent fiscal years

At the option of the owner or producer for fiscal year 1997 and each subsequent fiscal year, 50 percent of the annual contract payment shall be made on December 15 or January 15 of the fiscal year. The owner or producer may change the date selected under this subparagraph for a subsequent fiscal year by providing advance notice to the Secretary.

(3) Special rule

Notwithstanding the requirements for making an annual contract payment specified in paragraphs (1) and (2), at the option of the owner or producer, the Secretary shall pay the full amount (or such portion as the owner or producer may specify) of the contract payment required to be paid for any of fiscal years 1999 through 2002 at such time or times during that fiscal year as the owner or producer may specify.

(Pub. L. 104–127, title I, §112, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 899; Pub. L. 105–228, §2, Aug. 12, 1998, 112 Stat. 1516; Pub. L. 106–78, title VIII, §811, Oct. 22, 1999, 113 Stat. 1181.)

Amendments

1999—Subsec. (d)(3). Pub. L. 106–78, in par. heading, struck out "for fiscal year 1999" after "rule" and, in text, substituted "any of fiscal years 1999 through 2002" for "fiscal year 1999".

1998—Subsec. (d)(3). Pub. L. 105–228 added par. (3).

Production Flexibility Contract Payments

Pub. L. 106–170, title V, §525, Dec. 17, 1999, 113 Stat. 1928, as amended by Pub. L. 107–147, title IV, §417(24)(A), Mar. 9, 2002, 116 Stat. 57, provided that: "Any option to accelerate the receipt of any payment under a production flexibility contract which is payable under the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.), as in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 17, 1999], shall be disregarded in determining the taxable year for which such payment is properly includible in gross income for purposes of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 [26 U.S.C. 1 et seq.]."

Pub. L. 105–277, div. J, title II, §2012, Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681–902, provided that:

"(a) In General.—The options under paragraphs (2) and (3) of section 112(d) of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 7212(d)(2) and (3)), as in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 21, 1998], shall be disregarded in determining the taxable year for which any payment under a production flexibility contract under subtitle B of title I of such Act [7 U.S.C. 7211 et seq.] (as so in effect) is properly includible in gross income for purposes of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 [26 U.S.C. 1 et seq.].

"(b) Effective Date.—Subsection (a) shall apply to taxable years ending after December 31, 1995."

§7213. Amounts available for contract payments

(a) Fiscal year amounts

The Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable, expend the following amounts to satisfy the obligations of the Secretary under all contracts:

(1) For fiscal year 1996, $5,570,000,000.

(2) For fiscal year 1997, $5,385,000,000.

(3) For fiscal year 1998, $5,800,000,000.

(4) For fiscal year 1999, $5,603,000,000.

(5) For fiscal year 2000, $5,130,000,000.

(6) For fiscal year 2001, $4,130,000,000.

(7) For fiscal year 2002, $4,008,000,000.

(b) Allocation

The amount made available for a fiscal year under subsection (a) shall be allocated as follows:

(1) For wheat, 26.26 percent.

(2) For corn, 46.22 percent.

(3) For grain sorghum, 5.11 percent.

(4) For barley, 2.16 percent.

(5) For oats, 0.15 percent.

(6) For upland cotton, 11.63 percent.

(7) For rice, 8.47 percent.

(c) Adjustment

The Secretary shall adjust the amounts allocated for each contract commodity under subsection (b) for a particular fiscal year by—

(1) adding an amount equal to the sum of all repayments of deficiency payments required under section 114(a)(2) of the Agricultural Act of 1949 (7 U.S.C. 1445j(a)(2)) for the commodity;

(2) adding an amount equal to the sum of all refunds of contract payments received during the preceding fiscal year under section 7216 of this title for the commodity; and

(3) subtracting an amount equal to the amount, if any, necessary during that fiscal year to satisfy payment requirements for the commodity under sections 103B, 105B, or 107B of the Agricultural Act of 1949 for the 1994 and 1995 crop years.

(d) Additional rice allocation

In addition to the adjustments required under subsection (c), the amount allocated under subsection (b) for rice contract payments shall be increased by $8,500,000 for each of fiscal years 1997 through 2002.

(e) Exclusion of certain amounts from contract payments

Any amount added pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (c) to the amount available under subsection (a) for a fiscal year and paid to owners and producers under a contract shall not be treated as a contract payment for purposes of section 7215 of this title or section 1308(1) 1 of this title. However, the amount of a payment covered by this subsection may not exceed $50,000 per person.

(f) Effect of payment limitation

The amount available under subsection (a) for a fiscal year shall be reduced by an amount equal to the total amount of contract payments for the fiscal year that owners and producers forgo as a result of operation of the payment limitation under section 1308(1) 1 of this title.

(Pub. L. 104–127, title I, §113, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 900.)

References in Text

Sections 103B, 105B, and 107B of the Agricultural Act of 1949, referred to in subsec. (c)(3), were classified to sections 1444–2, 1444f, and 1445b–3a, respectively, of this title prior to repeal by section 7301(b)(2)(A)–(D) of this title.

Section 1308(1) of this title, referred to in subsecs. (e), (f), was repealed by Pub. L. 107–171, title I, §1603(a), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 213.

1 See References in text note below.

§7214. Determination of contract payments under contracts

(a) Individual payment quantity of contract commodities

For each contract, the payment quantity of a contract commodity for each fiscal year shall be equal to the product of—

(1) 85 percent of the contract acreage; and

(2) the farm program payment yield.

(b) Annual payment quantity of contract commodities

The payment quantity of each contract commodity covered by all contracts for each fiscal year shall be equal to the sum of the amounts calculated under subsection (a) for each individual contract.

(c) Annual payment rate

The payment rate for a contract commodity for each fiscal year shall be equal to—

(1) the amount made available under section 7213 of this title for the contract commodity for the fiscal year; divided by

(2) the amount determined under subsection (b) for the fiscal year.

(d) Annual payment amount

The amount to be paid under a contract in effect for each fiscal year with respect to all contract commodities covered by the contract shall be equal to the sum of the products of—

(1) the payment quantity determined under subsection (a) for each of the contract commodities covered by the contract; and

(2) the corresponding payment rate for the contract commodity in effect under subsection (c).

(e) Reduction in payment amount

The contract payment determined under subsection (d) for an owner or producer for a fiscal year shall be immediately reduced by the amount of any repayment of deficiency payments that is required under section 114(a)(2) of the Agricultural Act of 1949 (7 U.S.C. 1445j(a)(2)) and is not repaid as of the date the contract payment is determined. The Secretary shall be required to collect the required repayment, or any claim based on the required repayment, as soon as the contract payment is determined.

(f) Assignment of contract payments

The provisions of section 590h(g) of title 16 (relating to assignment of payments) shall apply to contract payments under this section. The owner or producer making the assignment, or the assignee, shall provide the Secretary with notice, in such manner as the Secretary may require in the contract, of any assignment made under this subsection.

(g) Sharing of contract payments

The Secretary shall provide for the sharing of contract payments among the owners and producers subject to the contract on a fair and equitable basis.

(Pub. L. 104–127, title I, §114, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 901.)

§7215. Applicability of payment limitations

Sections 1308 through 1308–3 of this title shall be applicable to contract payments made under this subchapter.

(Pub. L. 104–127, title I, §115(a), Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 902.)

§7216. Violations of contract

(a) Termination of contract for violation

Except as provided in subsection (b), if an owner or producer subject to a contract violates a requirement of the contract specified in section 7211(a) of this title, the Secretary shall terminate the contract with respect to the owner or producer on each farm in which the owner or producer has an interest. On the termination, the owner or producer shall forfeit all rights to receive future contract payments on each farm in which the owner or producer has an interest and shall refund to the Secretary all contract payments received by the owner or producer during the period of the violation, together with interest on the contract payments as determined by the Secretary.

(b) Refund or adjustment

If the Secretary determines that a violation does not warrant termination of the contract under subsection (a), the Secretary may require the owner or producer subject to the contract—

(1) to refund to the Secretary that part of the contract payments received by the owner or producer during the period of the violation, together with interest on the contract payments as determined by the Secretary; or

(2) to accept a reduction in the amount of future contract payments that is proportionate to the severity of the violation, as determined by the Secretary.

(c) Foreclosure

(1) Effect of foreclosure

An owner or producer subject to a contract may not be required to make repayments to the Secretary of amounts received under the contract if the contract acreage has been foreclosed on and the Secretary determines that forgiving the repayments is appropriate to provide fair and equitable treatment.

(2) Resumption of operation

This subsection shall not void the responsibilities of the owner or producer under the contract if the owner or producer continues or resumes operation, or control, of the contract acreage. On the resumption of operation or control over the contract acreage by the owner or producer, the provisions of the contract in effect on the date of the foreclosure shall apply.

(d) Review

A determination of the Secretary under this section shall be considered to be an adverse decision for purposes of the availability of administrative review of the determination.

(Pub. L. 104–127, title I, §116, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 903.)

§7217. Transfer or change of interest in lands subject to contract

(a) Termination

Except as provided in subsection (c), a transfer of (or change in) the interest of an owner or producer subject to a contract in the contract acreage covered by the contract shall result in the termination of the contract with respect to the acreage, unless the transferee or owner of the acreage agrees to assume all obligations under the contract. The termination shall be effective on the date of the transfer or change.

(b) Modification

At the request of the transferee or owner, the Secretary may modify the contract if the modifications are consistent with the objectives of this subchapter, as determined by the Secretary.

(c) Exception

If an owner or producer who is entitled to a contract payment dies, becomes incompetent, or is otherwise unable to receive the contract payment, the Secretary shall make the payment, in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary.

(Pub. L. 104–127, title I, §117, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 904.)

§7218. Planting flexibility

(a) Permitted crops

Subject to subsection (b), any commodity or crop may be planted on contract acreage on a farm.

(b) Limitations and exceptions regarding fruits and vegetables

(1) Limitations

The planting of fruits and vegetables (other than lentils, mung beans, and dry peas) shall be prohibited on contract acreage.

(2) Exceptions

Paragraph (1) shall not limit the planting of a fruit or vegetable—

(A) in any region in which there is a history of double-cropping of contract commodities with fruits or vegetables, as determined by the Secretary, in which case the double-cropping shall be permitted;

(B) on a farm that the Secretary determines has a history of planting fruits or vegetables on contract acreage, except that a contract payment shall be reduced by an acre for each acre planted to the fruit or vegetable; or

(C) by a producer who the Secretary determines has an established planting history of a specific fruit or vegetable, except that—

(i) the quantity planted may not exceed the producer's average annual planting history of the fruit or vegetable in the 1991 through 1995 crop years (excluding any crop year in which no plantings were made), as determined by the Secretary; and

(ii) a contract payment shall be reduced by an acre for each acre planted to the fruit or vegetable.

(Pub. L. 104–127, title I, §118, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 904.)

Contract Payments for Wild Rice Acreage

Pub. L. 106–78, title VII, §727, Oct. 22, 1999, 113 Stat. 1164, provided that: "None of the funds appropriated or otherwise available to the Department of Agriculture in fiscal year 2000 or thereafter may be used to administer the provision of contract payments to a producer under the Agricultural Market Transition Act (7 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.) for contract acreage on which wild rice is planted unless the contract payment is reduced by an acre for each contract acre planted to wild rice."

Similar provisions were contained in the following prior appropriations acts:

Pub. L. 105–277, div. A, §101(a) [title VII, §727], Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681, 2681-28.

Pub. L. 105–86, title VII, §734, Nov. 18, 1997, 111 Stat. 2110.