OMAHA (DTN) -- USDA on Friday detailed a few updates for producers who suffered disaster losses in 2022 and 2021, as the department will start the ball rolling to release up to $3.7 billion in aid for crop and livestock producers under the 2022 version of the Emergency Relief Program (ERP).
For starters, livestock producers who had claims filed with the Farm Service Agency under the 2021 Emergency Livestock Relief Program (ELRP) will receive payments in the amount of 20% of their initial ELRP payments. USDA is closing out the payments for those 2021 claims.
For 2022 disaster losses affecting producers hit by "wildfires, droughts, hurricanes, winter storms and other eligible disasters occurring in calendar year 2022," USDA still has not announced an application timeline for ERP or ELRP. The department, however, released some details about how those program payments are going to be sent out.
While reports such as this past week's Hard Winter Wheat tour reflect large yield declines and crop abandonment due to drought, as of now there is no new disaster program set up for 2023 crop losses. Any such program would likely come from Congress sometime over the next year or two.
USDA will essentially have a dual program for 2022 ERP and ELRP. The plan breaks down as such:
-- Farmers who have federal crop insurance or FSA's Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) will receive pre-filled applications detailing their crop insurance and FSA crop-reporting data that will be sent directly to producers "in early summer," similar as the 2021 ERP.
-- Farmers who do not have federal crop insurance or NAP will need to demonstrate "a decrease in allowable gross revenue in 2022" for expenses related to eligible crops from a qualifying disaster event. Those producers will likely need to report and certify their adjusted gross income data and could be required to have supporting documents such as a Schedule F from the IRS 1040 form or a similar tax document.
This would likely be similar to the guidelines USDA set up for ERP Phase 2 for disaster losses in 2020 and 2021.
Crop producers who receive Emergency Relief Program payments for 2022 losses will be required to purchase crop insurance or NAP for the next two crop years.
For livestock producers, USDA states the department will use information from FSA's Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) to provide data to help livestock producers for the 2022 Emergency Livestock Relief Program (ELRP) tied to increases in supplemental feed costs in 2022.
To qualify for the 2022 ELRP, livestock producers will need to show they suffered grazing losses from a wildfire or located in a county that suffered drought under the following conditions: A D2 (severe drought), according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, for eight consecutive weeks, or a D3 (extreme drought) or higher during any time in calendar year 2022. Another caveat, though, is producers must have applied and been approved for the 2022 LFP as well.
Given that livestock producers are already in the system for 2022 LFP, USDA stated they will not need to apply for payment under the ELRP.
Crop and livestock producers who have received federal aid in the past likely already have certain forms on record. For those producers who are uncertain or are applying for the first time, the following forms need to be filed with FSA or their local USDA Service Center:
-- Form AD-2047, Customer Data Worksheet (as applicable to the program participant).
-- Form CCC-902, Farm Operating Plan for an individual or legal entity.
-- Form CCC-901, Member Information for Legal Entities (if applicable).
-- Form AD-1026 Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC) Certification.
For more about USDA's Emergency Relief Program, see https://www.fsa.usda.gov/….
Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.com
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