Farm Service Agency Programs
Agriculture Mediation Program

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.

Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage (ARC/PLC)

The 2014 Farm Bill authorized a new safety net approach for farm commodities, known as the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs. These programs combine provisions from previous programs delivered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA).

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)

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 is 30

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) Delaware

As the name implies, this program is an enhanced version of the very successful Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The Delaware CREP enhancements are dedicated staff and financial incentives provided by the State of Delaware. 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, Delaware Bay, and Delaware Inland Bays.

Emergency Conservation Program (ECP)  

Provides emergency 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: impair or endanger the land; materially affect the productive capacity of the land; represent unusual damage which, except for wind erosion, is not the type likely to recur frequently in the same area; and be so costly to repair that Federal assistance is, or will be, required to return the land to productive agricultural use.

Grassland Reserve Program (GRP)

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.

Margin Protection Program, Dairy (MPP)

The Margin Protection Program, Dairy (MPP) replaces MILC and is effective through December 31, 2018. The Margin Protection Program offers dairy producers: (1) catastrophic coverage, at no cost to the producer, other than an annual $100 administrative fee; and (2) various levels of buy-up coverage. To participate in buy-up coverage, a producer must pay a premium that varies with the level of protection the producer elects.

In addition, the 2014 Act created the Dairy Product Donation Program (DPDP). This program is triggered in times of low operating margins for dairy producers, and requires USDA to purchase dairy products for donation to food banks and other feeding programs.

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP)

Provides financial assistance to eligible producers affected by drought, flood, hurricane, or other natural disasters. This federally funded program covers noninsurable crop losses and planting prevented by disasters. Producers who are landowners, tenants, or sharecroppers who share in the risk of producing an eligible crop are eligible. Eligible crops include commercial crops and other agricultural commodities produced for food (including livestock feed) or fiber for which the catastrophic level of crop insurance is unavailable. Also eligible for NAP coverage are controlled-environment crops (mushrooms and floriculture), specialty crops (honey and maple sap), and value loss crops (aquaculture, Christmas trees, ginseng, ornamental nursery, and turfgrass sod).

Farm Loan Programs

Direct Farm Ownership Loan

A loan made to eligible applicants to purchase, enlarge, or make capital improvements to family farms, or to promote soil and water conservation and protection. Maximum loan amount is $300,000. A percentage of direct farm ownership loan funds are targeted for beginning farmers and socially disadvantaged.

Direct Operating Loan

A loan made to an eligible applicant to assist with the financial costs of operating a farm. Maximum loan amount is $300,000. A percentage of direct operating loan funds are targeted for beginning farmers.


Microloans are direct farm operating loans with a shortened application process and reduced paperwork designed to meet the needs of smaller, non-traditional, and niche type operations. Apprentice and mentorship programs, non-farm business experience, and farm labor experience are acceptable alternative solutions for helping to meet farm experience and managerial requirements. The maximum loan amount for a Microloan is $50,000.

Guaranteed Farm Loans

FSA guaranteed loans provide lenders (e.g., 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.
FSA guaranteed loans are for both Farm Ownership (FO) and Operating (OL) purposes.

Farm Storage Facility Loan Program (FSFL)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) FSFL Program provides low-interest financing for producers to build or upgrade farm storage and handling facilities. The FSA is authorized to implement the program through USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC).

Emergency Farm Loans

Loans are available to eligible applicants who have incurred substantial financial losses from a disaster. Maximum outstanding loan amount is $500,000.

Nonrecourse Marketing Assistance Loan (MAL) and Loan Deficiency Payment (LDP) Program

Provides producers interim financing at harvest time to meet cash flow needs without having to sell their commodities. This is during times when market prices are typically at harvest-time lows. Allowing producers to store production at harvest facilitates more orderly marketing of commodities throughout the year. Marketing assistance loans (MAL) for covered commodities are nonrecourse because the commodities are pledged as loan collateral and producers have the option of delivering the pledged collateral to 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 a Loan Deficiency Payment (LDP). The LDP rate equals the amount by which the applicable loan rate where the commodity is stored exceeds the alternative loan repayment rate for the respective commodity.

Loans for Minority and Women Farmers and Ranchers

The Agency targets a portion of its loan funds to minorities and women farmers and ranchers. These targeted funds are not a program type; rather it distinguishes a specific funding source, which is known as Socially Disadvantaged Applicants (SDA).

The loan process and all loan requirements are identical for SDA applicants to those for non-SDA applicants. To be considered for targeted SDA loan funding, the applicant must voluntarily provide his or her ethnicity, race and gender on the loan application.

Beginning Farmer and Ranchers (BF) Loan

A type of farm ownership loan made to eligible applicants to finance a portion of a real estate purchase.

Youth Loans

FSA provides Youth loans to persons between the ages 10 and 20 years old to establish and operate income-producing agricultural projects of modest size. The maximum loan amount is $5,000.

OnLine Services

For your convenience we have provided several services online. If you are new to the site and would like to obtain a USDA Service Center Customer ID and password, please Register now. Several online services do not require an ID and password.