USDA announced Monday $6 billion in payments to crop producers impacted by 2020 and 2021 natural disasters. Relief payments will be distributed by the Farm Serve Agency’s (FSA) new Emergency Relief Program to offset crop yield and value losses. The announcement comes after President Biden’s September signing of the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act (P.L. 117-43), that included $10B in assistance to agricultural producers impacted by wildfires, droughts, hurricanes, winter storms, and other eligible disasters. FSA recently made payments to ranchers impacted by drought and wildfire through the first phase of the Emergency Livestock Relief Program (ELRP). ERP is another relief component of the Act.
Phase one of the funding allocations includes loss coverage to crops, trees, bushes and vines except for those used for livestock grazing. FSA will send pre-filled application forms to producers already on file which will outline eligibility requirements. A separate application form will be sent for each program year where a loss occurred.
Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack:
“As the agriculture industry deals with new challenges and stressors, we at USDA look for opportunities to inject financial support back into the rural economy through direct payments to producers who bear the brunt of circumstances beyond their control. These emergency relief payments will help offset the significant crop losses due to major weather events in 2020 and 2021 and help ensure farming operations are viable this crop year, into the next growing season and beyond.”
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