Additional pandemic assistance is going to be provided through new and existing programs from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The new Pandemic Assistance Revenue Program (PARP) will assist eligible producers that experienced a drop in revenue in 2020 due to COVID-19. PARP has been authorized and funded by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The program is designed to complement other emergency relief assistance programs by addressing gaps in support provided through other efforts. Phase Two of the Emergency Relief Program (ERP) will also begin being rolled out.
“We have worked diligently to help agricultural producers bounce back from devastating natural disasters as well as the coronavirus pandemic through an extensive suite of programs,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a press release. “No matter how well we design these targeted efforts, we often find that some producers fall through the cracks or were harmed more severely than their neighbors. These new programs apply a holistic approach to emergency assistance – an approach not focused on any one disaster event or commodity but rather one focused on filling gaps in assistance for agricultural producers who have, over the past few years, suffered losses from natural disasters and the pandemic.”
PARP eligibility will depend on decreases in allowable gross revenue for the 2020 calendar year when compared to 2018 or 2019. The particulars for loss calculations have yet to be released. Program eligibility parameters will be made available when the rule is published. USDA has made the early announcement about the program to allow producers ample time to compile necessary documentation.
ERP Phase Two will be building on previous pandemic assistance offered through ERP Phase One. More than $7.1 billion has been paid to producers who suffered eligible crop losses since May 2022. ERP Phase Two will include producers that suffered eligible losses but may not have received program benefits in Phase One. Each of the programs will use revenue information from tax records. Additional details about eligibility and application will be made available in the coming weeks.