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The sugar program refers to a federal commodity program in the U.S. The program aims at maintaining sugar price at a minimum level as provided in the 2002 farm bill. It also aids in protecting the income of sugarcane cultivators and also firms that process each crop into sugar.
The sugar program supports domestic sugar prices by:
1. restricting sugar imports using a tariff rate quota, and
2. limiting the amount of sugar that processors can sell domestically when imports are less.
According to 7 CFR 1435.102, the sugar program includes sugar loan program and provides that a sugar beet or sugarcane processor is eligible for loans only if the processor has agreed to all the terms and conditions in the loan application, and has executed a note and security agreement, and storage agreement. An eligible producer is the owner of a portion or all domestically-grown sugar beets or sugarcane, including share rent landowners, at both the time of harvest and the time of delivery to the processor. This does not include those producers determined to be ineligible as a result of regulations governing highly erodible land and wetland conservation.