USDA announces emergency relief program funding


USDA announces emergency relief program funding

The USDA has authorized nearly $6 billion in disaster relief payments for producers who suffered crop losses in 2020 and 2021.

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack shared details during a call with reporters on Monday.  “This was part of the $10-billion package Congress passed providing additional emergency relief,” he says.  “We anticipate and expect roughly 220,000 producers who had crop insurance losses and roughly 4,000 producers who had NAP coverage may benefit from this relief.”

The relief efforts in this round will cover crops, trees, bushes, and vines.

Vilsack says the first wave of payments is based on crop insurance data and the department has streamlined the application process to expedite payments.  “Producers will receive pre-filled applications with most of the information necessary for them to apply for resources under this program, all they’ll have to do is fill in the remaining boxes and sign it,” he says.  “And get it back to FSA as quickly as possible.”  Vilsack says the USDA expects checks to then arrive by the end of this month (May) or the beginning of June.”

He says this is the first tranche of payments provided under this program and the second phase of payments for crop and livestock producers will be released later this summer.  Vilsack says those payments will fill gaps and cover producers who did not participate or receive payments through the existing programs.

The Milk Loss Program and On-Farm Store Commodity Loss Program are also funded through the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act, and will be announced in a future rule, expected later this summer.