USDA has spent more than $4 billion in emergency aid payments to date

MINBURN, Iowa, June 29, 2022 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that to date, agricultural producers have already received more than $4 billion through the emergency utility (ERP), representing approximately 67% of the more than $6 billion expected to be paid through this first phase of the program. At the end of May, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) sent pre-filled applications to producers with crop insurance who suffered losses from natural disasters in 2020 and 2021. Producers of raw materials and specialty crops have until July 22 to submit applications.

“We recognize that the need for financial recovery is great and have consciously worked to create a program delivery program that would ensure prompt payments to producers,” said Vilsack. “I am extremely proud to report that the strategically streamlined ERP application and implementation process of the program has delivered the desired results – reduced burden so far and accelerated payments to approximately 120,000 disaster-affected agricultural producers.”

USDA is implementing ERP and ELRP in two phases, with the first phase using existing claim data to provide rapid assistance, and the second phase focusing on ensuring assistance to producers not covered by other programs. For phase one USDA crop insurance used and: Utility for uninsured crop disasters (NAP) claim data.

Both ERP and the previously announced Emergency Livestock Relief Program (ELRP) are funded by the Expanding Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Relief Actwhich President Biden signed in 2021. The law provided $10 billion to help agricultural producers affected by wildfires, droughts, hurricanes, winter storms, and other eligible disasters in calendar years 2020 and 2021, of which $750 million will be earmarked for livestock farmers who suffered losses in calendar year 2021 due to drought or forest fires. Eligible ranchers have received ELRP payments totaling more than $590 million since the program rolled out in late March.

Pre-filled applications

Eligible producers with eligible crop insurance claims have received pre-filled applications, including eligibility requirements and payment calculations. Producers received a separate application form for each program year in which they incurred an eligible loss.

Producers should contact the Farm Service Agency (FSA) at their local USDA Service Center to confirm your eligibility and to ensure that all required forms for participation in the agricultural program, adjusted gross income and conservation compliance forms are on file. Manufacturers who have previously participated in FSA programs probably already have these required forms on file.

ERP provisions allow for a higher payout rate for historically underserved producers, including novice producers, producers with limited resources, socially disadvantaged and military veterans. To be eligible for the higher payment rate, individuals must have a Form CCC-860, Socially disadvantaged, limited resources, novice and experienced farmer or rancher certification on file.

To receive payment, producers must complete and submit their forms by the July 22 deadline. Once the completed ERP application for payment is submitted to and signed by the FSA, producers enrolled in direct deposit must seek payment within three business days.

Additional help during phase one

FSA will send pre-filled applications for approximately 9,000 eligible producers with NAP coverage in mid-July.

The federal crop insurance data used to populate the ERP phase one prefilled applications includes claims data registered with USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) as of May 2, 2022. At that time, claim data for the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO), Enhanced Coverage Option (ECO), Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX), Margin Protection Plan (MP), or Area Risk Protection Insurance (ARPI) was not complete, so crops/units with these coverage options were not included in the pre-filled ERP application form. In late summer of 2022, updated claim information will be used to generate a second pre-filled application for those crops/units with eligible losses in a file with RMA not included in the first mailing.

More information

ERP covers losses of crops, trees, shrubs and vines due to a qualifying natural disaster in calendar years 2020 and 2021. Eligible crops include all crops for which crop insurance or NAP coverage was available, except for crops intended for grazing. Eligible natural disasters include wildfires, hurricanes, floods, derechos, extreme heat, winter storms, frostbite (including a polar vortex), exposure to smoke, excessive moisture, qualifying drought, and related conditions.

All producers receiving ERP payments for phase one are required by law to purchase crop insurance or NAP coverage if crop insurance is not available for the next two available crop years.

Producers should contact their local Service Center if they have any questions. In addition, other resources include:

The second phase of both ERP and ELRP aims to fill gaps and provide assistance to producers who have not participated in or received payments through the existing programs used for the implementation of phase one. Through proactive communication and outreach, USDA will keep producers and stakeholders informed when program details are made available.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans every day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris administration, USDA is transforming the U.S. food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, new markets, and creating streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committed to equality across the department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America . For more information, visit usda.gov

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

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