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Value Added Agriculture

USDA payments moving to electronic processing

The Aberdeen Times of Aberdeen, Idaho

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USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) is moving toward OTCnet, an electronic method for processing customer check payments. The system will convert paper checks received in FSA county offices to EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer).

"We feel the system will be a benefit to producers when they make their loan payments," said Dick Rush, State Executive Director for Idaho. "It will improve customer relations, speed the check clearing process and reduce the potential for human error."

As soon as a check is received in the local office, whether by mail or in person, it can process within 24 hours so producers will need to be certain they have sufficient funds in their bank account. If funds are not available then the system may initiate the transaction again.

FSA will hold the paper check for up to 14 calendar days to ensure that the transaction was successfully processed and then the check will be shredded. The producer will not receive the paper check back from FSA.

The conversion should be complete for some Idaho counties by Sept. 30, and the remainder will begin the new process prior to the end of FY2013.

Copyright 2012 The Aberdeen Times, Aberdeen, Idaho. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: July 4, 2012

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