Whoops, I screwed up. My previous post on this issue tacitly assumed that USDA was accelerating the 2006 counter-cyclical payments for cotton, sorghum, and peanuts. In fact, according to a notice issued today and available here, it's the 2005 payments. Makes a bit more sense--roughly speaking this is the final third of the payments. While the official average price data isn't available yet, the data is clear and USDA is safe to issue the payments.
Incidently, this is a case where the Bush administration effectively moves expenditures forward from one fiscal year (2007) to the previous one (2006). There was discussion on the Washington Monthly site over HHS shifting money from FY 2006 to FY 2007 to decrease the size of the deficit before Kevin Drum here concluded that Congress mandated the shift in the Deficit Reduction Act. Ironically, I'm too lazy to check this rainy afternoon but I believe this provision in the Deficit Reduction Act had the effect of moving CCC payments back from FY 2006 to FY2007. So, Johanns has undone the effect of Congress acts:
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, here are 700 million dollars and three shells. Watch very carefully, very very carefully and tell me which shell hides the money--are the millions of dollars here or are they there?