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BOZEMAN — The Montana average loan rate for the 2006 crop year is 22.76 cents per pound for refined beet sugar. This rate is unchanged from last year. The national loan rates are adjusted by region to reflect freight differentials.

USDA's Sugar Loan Program provides nonrecourse loans to processors of domestically grown sugar cane and sugar beets.

Price support loans are nonrecourse because the commodity is pledged as loan collateral and processors have the option to deliver that collateral as full payment for the loan at maturity.

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) administers nonrecourse loans for 2002-07 crops.

The loans mature at the earlier of either the end of the 9-month period beginning on the first day of the first month after the month in which the loan is made, the end of the fiscal year in which the loan is made.

For information regarding other programs administered by FSA, logon to the Montana FSA Web site at www.fsa.usda.

gov/mt or visiting a local USDA Service Center.

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