Until December 31, 2002, the Secretary of Agriculture may conduct a pilot program for 1 or more agricultural commodities supported under this chapter to ascertain whether futures and options contracts can provide producers with reasonable protection from the financial risks of fluctuations in price, yield, and income inherent in the production and marketing of the commodities. The pilot program shall be an alternative to other related programs of the Department of Agriculture.
For each agricultural commodity included in the pilot program, the Secretary may operate the pilot program in not more than 300 counties, except that not more than 25 of the counties may be located in any 1 State. The pilot program for a commodity shall not be operated in any county for more than 3 of the 1996 through 2002 calendar years.
A producer participating in the pilot program shall compile, maintain, and submit (or authorize the compilation, maintenance, and submission) of such documentation as the regulations governing the pilot program require.
The Secretary shall fund and operate the pilot program through the Commodity Credit Corporation, except that the amount of Commodity Credit Corporation funds used to carry out this section shall not exceed, to the maximum extent practicable, $9,000,000 for fiscal year 2001, $15,000,000 for fiscal year 2002, and $2,000,000 for fiscal year 2003. To the maximum extent practicable, the Secretary shall operate the pilot program in a budget neutral manner.