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 Relief Program (ERP), representing approximately 67% of the more than $6 billion expected to be paid under this first phase of the program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) mailed pre-populated applications in late May to growers with crop insurance who suffered losses from natural disasters in 2020 and 2021. Commodity growers and specialty crops have until July 22 to complete applications.
“We recognize that the need for financial turnaround is significant and have worked deliberately to create a program delivery process that would ensure prompt payments to producers,” Vilsack said. “I am extremely proud to share that the strategically streamlined ERP application and program implementation process has delivered the desired results – reduced charges and accelerated payments for approximately 120,000 disaster-affected agricultural producers, to date. .”
The USDA is implementing ERP and ELRP in two phases, with the first phase using existing claims data to provide rapid relief, and the second phase aimed at ensuring that producers not covered by other programs receive An assistance. For the first phase, the USDA used crop insurance and Uninsured Agricultural Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) complaint data.
The ERP and the previously announced Livestock Emergency Relief Program (ELRP) are funded by the Public Funding Extension and Emergency Assistance Delivery Actwhich President Biden signed into law in 2021. The law provided $10 billion to help agricultural producers affected by wildfires, droughts, hurricanes, winter storms and other qualifying disasters experienced in calendar years 2020 and 2021 , of which $750 million is committed to livestock producers who suffered losses from drought or wildfires in calendar year 2021. Eligible livestock producers received ELRP payments totaling more than $590 million since the program launched in late March.
Eligible producers with eligible crop insurance claims received pre-populated applications, which included eligibility requirements and payment calculations. Producers received a separate claim form for each program year in which they incurred an eligible loss.
Growers should check with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) of their 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. Growers who have previously participated in FSA programs likely already have these required forms on file.
ERP provisions allow for a higher payout percentage for historically underserved producers, including beginning, resource-constrained, socially disadvantaged, and military veteran producers. To qualify for the higher payout rate, individuals must have a CCC-860 form, Certification as a farmer or breeder of socially disadvantaged, resource-limited, beginners and veterans checked in.
To receive payment, producers must complete and submit their forms by the July 22 deadline. Once the completed ERP payment request is submitted and signed by the FSA, producers enrolled in direct deposit must seek their payment within three business days.
Additional support during the first phase
The FSA will send pre-filled applications to around 9,000 eligible producers covered by the NAP in mid-July.
Federal Crop Insurance data used to complete ERP Phase 1 pre-populated applications included claims data on file with USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) as of May 2 2022. At this time, claim data for Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO), Enhanced Coverage Option (ECO), Stacked Revenue Protection Plan (STAX), Margin Protection Plan (MP) or Area Risk Protection Insurance (ARPI) were not complete, so crops/units including these coverage options were not included in the pre-populated ERP application form . In late summer 2022, the updated claim information will be used to generate a second pre-populated claim for crops/units with eligible losses registered with RMA not included in the first shipment.
ERP covers losses of crops, trees, shrubs and vines due to an eligible natural disaster during calendar years 2020 and 2021. Eligible crops include all crops for which crop insurance or coverage NAP was available, except for pasture crops. Qualifying natural disaster events include wildfires, hurricanes, floods, derechos, excessive heat, winter storms, freezing (including a polar vortex), exposure to smoke, excessive humidity , allowable drought and related conditions.
All producers receiving payments from the first phase of the ERP are legally required to purchase crop insurance or NAP coverage when crop insurance is not available for the next two available crop years.
Producers should contact their Services Center if they have any questions. Additionally, other resources include:
The second phase of the ERP and ELRP will aim to fill gaps and provide assistance to producers who have not participated or received payments through existing programs that are being leveraged for implementation of phase one. Through proactive communication and outreach, the USDA will keep growers and stakeholders informed as program details become available.
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