In its comments to the Federal Register, the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) urged the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to announce the Ewe Lamb Replacement and Retention Payment Program application process as quickly as possible following the close of the 30-day comment period, which ends Oct. 7, 2004.

Since the administration's announcement of the program's extension in January of this year, millions of dollars of transactions and marketing decisions on hundreds of thousands of lambs have been made. Because of these actions, it is recommended that a time frame which allows payment in this calendar year be followed.

"It is valuable to the producers who have been counting on the program to have the opportunity to apply and receive payment this calendar year," stated Peter Orwick, executive director of ASI.

Comments to the Register can be e-mailed to Danielle Cooke at: danielle_cooke@wdc.fsa.usda.gov until Oct. 7, 2004.

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