Farmers or processors participating in government commodity programs may pledge certain stored commodities as collateral and obtain a loan from the CCC at a commodity-specific, per-unit loan rate. The borrower may repay the loan, with interest, within a specified period and regain control of the commodity. Alternatively, the commodity can be forfeited to the CCC at the end of the term with no penalty. The government takes no recourse beyond accepting the commodity as full settlement of the loan. The loans provide operating capital to producers of wheat, feed grains, cotton, peanuts, tobacco, rice, and oilseeds. Dairy processors (until 2000) and sugar processors (when imports are equal to or greater than 1.5 million short tons) are also eligible for nonrecourse loans. In the past, loan rates sometimes exceeded market prices. The CCC then became an alternative purchaser to the market, thereby supporting prices. For those commodities eligible for marketing assistance loan benefits, producers may repay the loan at the world price (rice and upland cotton) or posted county price (wheat, feed grains, and oilseeds).
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