The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the issuance of final Emergency Relief Program (ERP) payments totaling around $306 million. These payments, administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), aim to assist eligible producers who suffered losses due to adverse weather events. ERP payments cover commodity and specialty crop producers affected by natural disasters in 2020 and 2021.
“In the natural disaster recovery process, every little bit of available assistance helps offset the financial toll that these catastrophic events have taken on agricultural producers, their families, and their operations,” FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux said in a press release. “With remaining funds after initial factoring, USDA was able to put additional money back in the hands of the producers as we strive for the most fair and equitable distribution of available funds to as many producers as possible.”
The additional payments are specifically designated for producers who had previously received ERP Phase One payments based on crop insurance indemnities. Initially set at a 75 percent payment factor, FSA has now increased this to 78.5 percent for those producers with crop insurance coverage. However, producers of noninsured crops covered by FSA policies will not receive further payments for losses incurred during the specified years.
The Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act and the Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act have played pivotal roles in providing financial support to producers affected by wildfires, droughts, hurricanes, and other eligible disasters. Enrollment for ERP 2022, covering losses from natural disasters in 2022, is ongoing, encompassing various qualifying events such as wildfires, hurricanes, floods, excessive heat, and drought conditions.
Ag News Director / AgNet West