FSA supports farmers in good years, challenging years


TROY — Farm Service Agency (FSA) helps America’s farmers, and forest landowners invest in, improve and expand their agricultural operations.

According to a 2023 FSA report submitted by Debie Clark, Miami County FSA executive director, FSA programs also assist producers in recovering from the impacts of natural disasters and market fluctuations. FSA conservation programs give landowners the tools and resources to protect environmentally sensitive land, restore grasslands and forests, leading to cleaner water and air, healthier soil and enhanced wildlife habitat.

The FSA report continues to reveal below a few programs areas that are highlighted:

On Nov. 16, 2023, President Biden signed into law H.R. 6363, the Further Continuing Appropriations and Other Extensions Act, 2024, which extended the 2018 Farm Bill as of Sept. 30, 2023, through Sept. 30, 2024. The extension enables the continuation of programs, including safety-net, price support and conservation programs available through USDA’s FSA. Agricultural producers can now enroll the FSA’s Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2024 crop year. Producers can enroll and make election changes for the 2024 crop year to March 15, 2024.

USDA will provide more than $3 billion to commodity and specialty crop producers impacted by natural disaster events in 2022. Eligible impacted producers can apply for financial assistance through the Emergency Relief Program (ERP) 2022. The program will help offset the financial impacts of crop yield and value losses from qualifying disasters occurring in 2022. ERP 2022 covers losses to crops, trees, bushes and vines due to qualifying, calendar year 2022 natural disaster events including wildfires, hurricanes, floods, derechos, excessive heat, tornadoes, winter storms, freeze (including a polar vortex), smoke exposure, excessive moisture, qualifying drought and related conditions. ERP 2022 eligibility details and payment calculation factor tables are available on the emergency relief website, in the ERP Track 1 and ERP Track 2 fact sheets and through your County FSA office.

FSA farm loans offer access to funding for a wide range of producer needs, from securing land to financing the purchase of equipment. The program offers opportunities for farmers to start, improve, expand, transition, market and strengthen family farming operations. Farmers can visit the Loan Assistance Tool to access an interactive online, step-by-step guide through the farm loan process. Head to www.farmers.gov/farm-loan-assistance-tool and click the ‘Get Started’ button.

The Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) program provides low-interest financing to producers to build or upgrade storage facilities and to purchase portable structures, equipment, and storage and handling trucks. The maximum loan amount for storage facilities is $500,000. The maximum loan amount for storage and handling trucks is $100,000. FSA also provides a microloan option that, while available to all eligible farmers, also should be of particular interest to new or small producers where there is a need for financing options for loans up to $50,000.

The USDA is now accepting applications for the Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (Continuous CRP). USDA’s FSA encourages agricultural producers and landowners who are interested in conservation opportunities for their land in exchange for yearly rental payments to consider the enrollment options available through Continuous CRP, which also includes the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) offered by FSA partners. Additionally, producers participating in CRP can now apply to re-enroll if their contracts will expire this year. To submit an offer, producers should contact the FSA at their County FSA office by July 31, 2024, in order to have an offer effective by Oct. 1, 2024. Visit our County FSA office to learn what programs are right for you. Whether you have a row crop, livestock, diversified operation, or niche market – small or large, or just starting out, FSA can help.

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