Helps agricultural producers, their lenders, and other persons directly affected by the actions of USDA resolve disputes. Through mediation, a trained, impartial person (mediator) helps participants review their conflicts, identify options, and agree on solutions. Mediation is a valuable tool for settling disputes in many different USDA program areas. These include farm loans, farm and conservation programs, wetland determinations, rural water loan programs, grazing on national forest system lands, and pesticides usage. The program is authorized through 2005 by the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 (Pub. L. 100-233) (7 U.S.C. 5101 (5104), as amended by the Grain Standards and Warehouse Improvement Act of 2000 (Pub. L. 106-372).
The 2014 Farm Bill authorized the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) Program and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) Program, which are administered by FSA. ARC and PLC provide revenue and price loss payments to eligible producers for the 2014 through 2018 crop years.
Each fiscal year, FSA targets a portion of its direct and guaranteed farm ownership and operating loan funds to beginning farmers and ranchers. FSA makes and guarantees loans to beginning farmers and ranchers who are unable to obtain financing from commercial lenders. A beginning farmer or rancher is an individual or entity who (1) has not operated a farm or ranch for more than 10 years, (2) meets the loan eligibility requirements of the program to which he/she is applying, (3) substantially participates in the operation, and, (4) for farm ownership loan purposes, does not own a farm greater than 30 percent of the median size farm in the county and meet training and
Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) provides financial assistance to producers or entities that deliver eligible biomass material to designated biomass conversion facilities for use as heat, power, biobased products or biofuels. Initial assistance will be for the Collection, Harvest, Storage and Transportation (CHST) costs associated with the delivery of eligible materials.
Provides a voluntary program to agricultural producers to help them safeguard environmentally sensitive land. Producers enrolled in CRP plant long-term, resource-conserving covers to improve the quality of water, control soil erosion, and enhance wildlife habitat. In return, CCC provides participants rental payments and cost-share assistance. Contract duration is between 10 and 15 years. CRP was authorized by section 1231 of the Food Security Act of 1985, as amended (Pub. L. 99-198)(16 U.S.C. 3831, et seq.).
As its name implies, this program is an enhanced version of the very successful Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). CREP is a special conservation program that allows the CRP to be tailored to meet the needs of the State. CREP is a Federal-State conservation partnership program that targets significant environmental effects related to Agriculture. CREP priority areas include the Chesapeake Bay and Ohio River watershed.
The Dairy Indemnity Payment Program pays dairy producers when a public regulatory agency directs them to remove their raw milk from the commercial market because it has been contaminated by pesticides, nuclear radiation or fallout, or toxic substances and chemical residues other than pesticides. Payments are made to manufacturers of dairy products only for products removed from the market because of pesticide contamination.
The Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) is a voluntary risk management program for dairy producers authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill through Dec. 31, 2018. MPP-Dairy offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer
FSA direct farm ownership loans (FO) may be made to purchase farmland, construct or repair buildings and other fixtures, and promote soil and water conservation. To qualify for a direct loan, the applicant must be unable to obtain credit from commercial credit sources, able to show sufficient repayment ability and pledge enough collateral to fully secure the loan. A percentage of loan funds is targeted to beginning farmers and ranchers and minority applicants.
FSA direct farm operating loans (OL) may be made to purchase items such as livestock, farm equipment, feed, seed, fuel, farm chemicals, insurance, and other operating expenses. They can also be used to pay for minor improvements to buildings, costs associated with land and water development, family subsistence, and refinancing debts under certain conditions. To qualify for a direct loan, the applicant must be unable to obtain credit from commercial credit sources, able to show sufficient repayment ability and pledge enough collateral to fully secure the loan. A percentage of loan funds are targeted to beginning farmers and ranchers and minority applicants.
FSA administered programs that provide financial relief and assistance to farmers for natural disaster losses resulting from drought, flood, fire, freeze, tornadoes, pest infestation, and other calamities.
The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) provides payments to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees, and farm-raised fish to help compensate for losses due to disease (including cattle tick fever), adverse weather, or other conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires, as determined by the Secretary. ELAP was authorized by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill) as a permanent program and provides retroactive authority to cover losses that occurred on or after Oct. 1, 2011. ELAP assistance is provided for losses not covered by the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) and the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP).
ECP provides funding for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by wind erosion, floods, hurricanes, or other natural disasters, and for carrying out emergency water conservation measures during periods of severe drought. The natural disaster must create new conservation problems, which, if not treated, would 1) impair or endanger the land, 2) materially affect the productive capacity of the land, 3) represent unusual damage which, except for wind erosion, is not the type likely to recur frequently in the same area, and 4) be so costly to repair that federal assistance is or will be required to return the land to productive agricultural use. Subject to availability of funds, locally elected county committees are authorized to implement ECP for all disasters except drought, which may be authorized by the FSA national office. Eligible ECP participants may receive financial assistance of up to 75 percent of the cost to implement approved emergency land rehabilitation practices as determined by county FSA committees; qualified limited resource producers may receive financial assistance of up to 90 percent.
FSA provides EM loans to help producers recover from production and physical losses due to drought, flooding, other natural disasters, or quarantine. EM loans may be made to farmers and ranchers who cannot obtain credit from commercial sources and own or operate land located in a county declared by the President as a disaster area or designated by the Secretary of Agriculture as a disaster area or quarantine area (for physical losses only, the FSA Administrator may authorize emergency loan assistance). Emergency loan funds may be used to 1) restore or replace essential property, 2) pay all or part of production costs associated with the disaster year, 3) pay essential family living expenses, 4) reorganize the farming operation, and 5) refinance certain debts.
EFRP provides payments to eligible owners of rural nonindustrial private forest land in order to carry out emergency measures to restore forest health on land damaged by natural disaster events such as floods, hurricanes, or other natural disasters. Subject to availability of funds, locally elected county committees are authorized to implement EFRP for all disasters except drought and insect infestations, which may be authorized by the FSA national office. Eligible EFRP participants may receive financial assistance of up to 75 percent of the cost to implement approved emergency forest restoration practices as determined by county FSA committees.
The CCC, through FSA, may make loans to producers to build or upgrade farm storage and handling facilities for rice, soybeans, dry peas, lentils, small chickpeas, peanuts, hay, honey, renewable biomass, sunflower seeds, canola, rapeseed, safflower, flaxseed, mustard seed, and other oilseeds as determined and announced by CCC. Corn, grain sorghum, oats, wheat, barley, and fruits and vegetables are also eligible, subject to program requirements.
GRP is voluntary, and it offers landowners the opportunity to protect, restore, and enhance grasslands on their property. USDA's NRCS, FSA, and Forest Service are coordinating GRP implementation. The program will conserve vulnerable grasslands from conversion to cropland or other uses and conserve valuable grasslands by helping maintain viable ranching operations.
FSA guaranteed loans provide lenders (banks, Farm Credit System institutions, credit unions) with a guarantee of up to 95 percent of the loss of principal and interest on a loan. Farmers and ranchers apply to an agricultural lender, which then arranges for the guarantee. The FSA guarantee permits lenders to make agricultural credit available to farmers who do not meet the lender’s normal underwriting criteria. A percentage of guaranteed loan funds is targeted to beginning farmers and ranchers and minority applicants. Guaranteed Farm Ownership Loans may be made to purchase farmland, construct or repair buildings and other fixtures, develop farmland to promote soil and water conservation, or to refinance debt.
FSA guaranteed loans provide lenders (banks, Farm Credit System institutions, credit unions) with a guarantee of up to 95 percent of the loss of principal and interest on a loan. Farmers and ranchers apply to an agricultural lender, which then arranges for the guarantee. The FSA guarantee permits lenders to make agricultural credit available to farmers who do not meet the lender’s normal underwriting criteria. A percentage of guaranteed loan funds are targeted to beginning farmers and ranchers and minority applicants. Guaranteed Operating Loans may be made to purchase items needed such as livestock, farm equipment, feed, seed, fuel, farm chemicals, repairs, insurance, and other operating expenses. OLs also can be used to pay for minor improvements to buildings, costs associated with land and water development, family living expenses, and to refinance debts under certain conditions.
LIP provides benefits to livestock producers for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by adverse weather. In addition, LIP covers attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government or protected by federal law, including wolves and avian predators.
Microloans are a special subcategory of direct operating loans that provide flexible access to credit for small farming operations, including specialty, niche and local food producers. The Microloan Program simplifies the loan application process and reduces the paperwork burden substantially. It provides additional flexibility regarding certain loan eligibility requirements, reduces documentation requirements, and streamlines financial planning for small operations. Eligible applicants may obtain a microloan for up to $50,000.
NAP provides financial assistance to noninsurable crop losses due to drought, flood, hurricane, or other natural disasters. Landowners, tenants, or sharecroppers who share in the risk of producing an eligible crop are eligible. Eligible crops are those where crop insurance is unavailable. Also eligible for NAP coverage are controlled-environment crops (mushroom and floriculture), specialty crops (honey and maple sap), and value loss crops (aquaculture, Christmas trees, ginseng, ornamental nursery, and turfgrass sod). The 2014 Farm Bill allows producers to purchase higher levels of coverage beyond the catastrophic coverage level for an additional premium. New, limited resource and targeted underserved farmers are eligible for free catastrophic coverage and higher levels of coverage for a significantly discounted premium.
MALs provide producers interim financing at harvest time to help them meet cash flow needs when market prices are typically at harvest-time lows. MALs for covered commodities are nonrecourse because the commodity is pledged as loan collateral and producers have the option of delivering the pledged collateral to the CCC as full payment for the loan at maturity. A producer who is eligible to obtain a loan, but who agrees to forgo the loan, may obtain an LDP. An LDP is the amount by which the applicable loan rate exceeds the alternative loan repayment rate for the respective commodity.
The 2014 Farm Bill reauthorized the Tree Assistance Program (TAP) to provide financial assistance to qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes and vines damaged by natural disasters. The 2014 Farm Bill established TAP as a permanent disaster program and provides retroactive authority to cover eligible losses back to Oct. 1, 2011.
Provides operating type loans to eligible rural youth applicants to finance a modest income-producing agricultural project. Maximum loan amount is $5,000. The statutory authority for youth loans is section 311 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (Pub. L. 87-128).