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Marketing assistance loans are available to Montana producers of minor oilseed and pulse crops. The USDA differentiates county-level loan rates from national rates for minor oilseeds and dry peas . County-level lentil and small chickpea loan rates for all pertinent counties throughout the United States are differentiated at the multi-state, regional level from the national loan rates. Montana county-level rates for the 2003 crop year are shown in Appendix A: Figures 1 through 7 for canola, crambe, flaxseed, mustard, rapeseed, safflower, and sunflower. For each of the pulse crops-dry peas, lentils, and small chickpeas the county-level loan rates are the same in all Montana counties, as reported in Table 1. Loan deficiency payments are available on all or a portion of harvested production when posted-county prices for a loan commodity are below county-level loan rates. Similarly, marketing loan gains are available when posted-county prices are less than county loan rates at the time marketing assistance loans are settled. Mechanisms for determining loan deficiency payments and marketing loan gains are described. Mechanisms for determining posted-county prices are described including the use of differentials for each commodity. Differentials specified by the USDA, generally considered some depiction of commodity transportation and elevation costs, are shown for the 2003 crop year for all Montana counties in Appendix B, Figures 8 through 14 for canola, crambe, flaxseed, mustard, rapeseed, safflower, and sunflower.


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