Tobacco Buyout

A software glitch that could take months to repair has stalled payments to hundreds of tobacco quota owners and producers. The problem prompted every member of North Carolina's congressional delegation to demand action in a letter to U-S Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns. About 600 quota owners and producers, including 155 in North Carolina, have not received their second payment checks. John Johnson of the Farm Service Agency in Washington says that's less than one-tenth of one percent of all those due payments from the buyout ending the federal tobacco price support program. The software used by the Farm Service Agency was developed especially for the buyout program, but it doesn't allow users to correct mistakes. Johnson says workers are trying to program a patch, but that could take until August.


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