The deadline for commodity and specialty crop producers to complete applications for the Emergency Relief Program is July 22, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a reminder this week.
USDA mailed out pre-filled applications in late May to producers with crop insurance who suffered losses due to natural disasters in 2020 and 2021.
So far, USDA has issued $4 billion in payments to producers under the ERP.
USDA is implementing ERP and the previously announced Emergency Livestock Relief Program (ELRP) in two phases, with the first phase utilizing existing claim data to provide relief expediently, and the second phase focusing on ensuring producers not covered by other programs receive assistance. For phase one, USDA used crop insurance and Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) claim data.
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) will be sending pre-filled applications for about 9,000 eligible producers with NAP coverage in mid-July.
Both ERP and ELRP are funded by the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act, which President Biden signed into law in 2021. The law provided $10 billion to help agricultural producers impacted by wildfires, droughts, hurricanes, winter storms and other eligible disasters experienced during calendar years 2020 and 2021, of which $750 million is committed to livestock producers who experienced losses to drought or wildfire in calendar year 2021.
Eligible livestock producers received ELRP payments totaling more than $590 million since the program was rolled out in late March.
Producers should check with the FSA at their local USDA Service Center to confirm eligibility and to ensure that all required farm program participation, adjusted gross income and conservation compliance forms are on file, USDA said. Producers who have previously participated in FSA programs likely have these required forms already on file.
Vilsack announced that to date, agricultural producers have already received more than $4 billion through the ERP, representing approximately 67% of the more than $6 billion projected to be paid through this first phase of the program.
"We recognize the financial recovery need is great and worked deliberately to create a program delivery process that would ensure quick payments to producers," Vilsack said.
"I am extremely proud to share that the strategically streamlined ERP application and program implementation process have yielded the desired results -- reduced burdens on and expedited payments to approximately 120,000 disaster-impacted agricultural producers, to date."
USDA Farm Service Agency -- Emergency Relief https://www.fsa.usda.gov/…
Jerry Hagstrom can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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