Monday, April 22, 2024

USDA to Issue $306 Million in Final Payments to Producers Impacted by 2020 and 2021 Natural Disasters

by BIZ Magazine

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that it will distribute final Emergency Relief Program (ERP) payments totaling around $306 million to eligible commodity and specialty crop producers affected by natural disasters in 2020 and 2021. These additional payments aim to alleviate some of the financial burdens faced by agricultural producers due to catastrophic events.

FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux emphasized the significance of providing assistance to producers affected by natural disasters, stating, “In the natural disaster recovery process, every little bit of available assistance helps offset the financial toll that these catastrophic events have taken on agricultural producers, their families, and their operations.”

Recipients of the additional payments are limited to producers who received ERP Phase One payments from FSA based on crop insurance indemnities. Initially, these payments were calculated at a 75% payment factor. However, FSA has determined that there are adequate funds available to increase the overall payment factor to 78.5%, resulting in additional payments to eligible producers.

Producers of noninsured crops covered by FSA’s NAP policies, who received ERP Phase One payments originally paid at 100%, will not receive additional payments for 2020 and 2021 losses.

The funding for these payments was provided through the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act, 2021, which allocated $10 billion in assistance to agricultural producers impacted by various disasters during the specified years.

Separately, the Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2023, allocated approximately $3.2 billion in funding to cover necessary expenses related to crop losses due to natural disasters in 2022.

Enrollment is ongoing for ERP 2022, which covers losses to crops, trees, bushes, and vines due to qualifying natural disaster events experienced in 2022.

USDA continues to play a crucial role in supporting American agriculture and rural communities, striving for a more resilient and equitable food system. To learn more about USDA’s initiatives and programs, visit usda.gov.

USDA reiterates its commitment to being an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

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