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Disaster-impacted producers receiving $306 Million for 2020-2021

Starting this week, agricultural producers hit by natural disasters in 2020 and 2021 are set to receive a final boost from the USDA.

Plant Growing From Money

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is set to distribute final payments, amounting to approximately $306 million, under the Emergency Relief Program (ERP) to eligible agricultural producers who suffered losses due to natural disasters in 2020 and 2021. The USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) will begin issuing these payments this week.

FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux emphasized the importance of this assistance in mitigating the financial impacts of catastrophic events on farmers and their operations. The additional funds were made possible due to the availability of remaining funds after initial payments. Eligible recipients for these additional payments are those who previously received ERP Phase One payments, which were originally calculated based on Federal crop insurance indemnities.

Initially, ERP Phase One payments were subject to a 75% payment factor. However, the FSA has now increased the payment factor to 78.5% for those with crop insurance, allowing for an additional 3.5% payment. These supplemental payments adhere to the FSA payment limitation provisions as detailed in the ERP Phase One fact sheet.

Producers of noninsured crops covered by FSA NAP policies, who already received 100% of their ERP Phase One payments, will not receive additional payments for the 2020 and 2021 losses.

The ERP, funded through the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act, 2021 (P.L. 117-43), initially allocated $10 billion to assist agricultural producers affected by various natural disasters in 2020 and 2021. In its first phase, the ERP distributed $7.5 billion, utilizing a simplified process with pre-filled application forms based on existing USDA records.

Additionally, the Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2023 (P.L. 117-328), has provided approximately $3.2 billion for revenue, quality, or production losses of crops due to 2022 natural disasters. Enrollment for ERP 2022 remains open, covering a range of disaster events including wildfires, hurricanes, and extreme weather conditions.

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