The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering assistance to the industry for those experiencing coronavirus hardships. USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) is authorizing extended deadlines for payments. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is also offering an installment payment deferral option for Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) borrowers.
“USDA recognizes farmers and ranchers have been severely affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic this year and to help ease the burden on these folks, we are continuing to extend flexibility for producers,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a news release. “The flexibilities announced today support health and safety while also ensuring the Federal crop insurance program continues to serve as a vital risk management tool.”
RMA is authorizing Approved Insurance Providers (AIPs) to provide policyholders additional time to pay their premium and administrative fees. AIPs are also authorized to waive the accrual of interest to the earlier of 60 days after the scheduled payment due date or the termination date on select policies. Additional time is also being provided for policyholders to make payments for certain Written Payment Agreements.
Eligible FSFL borrowers can request a one-time only annual installment payment deferral for certain loans. Installment payments will remain the same with an exception being made for last year. The original loan interest rate along with the annual payment due date will also remain the same. With the installment payment deferral being a one-year loan term extension, the final payment will be higher because of additional accrued interest.
“Farmers are facing challenging times because of the pandemic, and FSA is constantly looking for ways to offer flexibilities to our customers to help alleviate financial stressors,” FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce said in a press release. “This storage facility loan servicing option affords eligible borrowers more time to make a payment and may stop loan acceleration, foreclosure or liquidation.”
More detailed information about the assistance being provided to farmers and ranchers experiencing coronavirus hardships is available online.