Meat & Livestock News

USDA Commits to $1.75 Billion Relief for Affected Agricultural Producers

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has unveiled its comprehensive plan to allocate $1.75 billion in emergency funds to bolster farmers and ranchers adversely impacted by natural disasters spanning 2020 to 2022. This financial support will be rolled out in two meticulously planned phases.

Under the Emergency Livestock Relief Program (ELRP) banner, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) takes the helm for the first phase. This initiative is tailored to extend a helping hand to producers grappling with the aftermath of droughts and wildfires in the years 2021 and 2022. 

To clarify the specifics, a sum exceeding $581 million has been earmarked to address the losses incurred in 2021. 

As we approached April 2022, the FSA has efficiently processed over 100,000 payments, translating to over $600 million. This amount is dedicated to indemnifying ranchers for the grazing deficits they experienced in 2021.

Transitioning to the second phase, ELRP Phase Two, the projected financial commitment is approximately $115.7 million. 

Ranchers who were beneficiaries in the initial phase can anticipate an added payment pegged at 20% of their primary 2021 ELRP disbursement. A notable feature of this phase is the automatic processing of the second payment, eliminating the need for any formal application. 

Furthermore, the FSA refined the payment procedure for the anticipated losses in 2022, approximated at $465.4 million, by capitalising on the existing livestock records and feedback from the ranching community.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack underscored the profound impact of these payments, articulating that they mirror the financial hurdles agricultural producers have navigated due to relentless natural calamities. 

He accentuated that this initiative is not solely a lifeline for the producers but also a cornerstone for fortifying the nation’s food reservoir and the economic vitality of diverse communities spanning rural and urban landscapes.

In a parallel development, the FSA is on the verge of wrapping up Phase Two of the Emergency Relief Program (ERP). This phase is characterised by allocating a staggering $1.17 billion to crop producers who registered revenue dips due to natural disasters in 2020 and 2021. 

A testament to the FSA’s efficiency during ERP Phase One is the processing of a mammoth 300,000 applications, culminating in the distribution of an impressive $7.4 billion to deserving producers.