WASHINGTON, Dec. 23, 2004 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service today certified a petition for shrimp producers in Louisiana under the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for Farmers program. They become eligible to apply for TAA benefits on Jan. 10, 2005.
Under the TAA program, USDA provides technical assistance and cash benefits to farmers and certain fishermen if increasing imports of a like or directly competitive commodity contributed importantly to a decline in producer prices and a loss of net farm or fishing income.
After an investigation, FAS determined that increasing imports of frozen and fresh whole shrimp contributed importantly to a decline in the landed price of shrimp in Louisiana during 2003 when compared to the applicable 1998-2002 base period.
Shrimpers who land and market their shrimp in Louisiana must apply for TAA benefits between Jan. 10 and April 11, 2005. They may obtain an application for TAA benefits (form FSA-229) from http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/eforms/mainservlet or from their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) service center. They can check their local phone listings for the closest service center or go to http://fsa.usda.gov and click on "your local office" for contact information. General information about the TAA program can be found on the program’s Web site at http://www.fas.usda.gov/itp/taa/taaindex.htm.
As part of the 2005 TAA program, shrimpers who apply for TAA benefits are eligible for a variety of technical courses at no cost. Applicants must obtain technical assistance prior to July 11, 2005, in order to be eligible for financial payments. Financial payments will not be made until after applications are certified.