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Coronavirus and USDA Assistance for Farmers

We are committed to delivering USDA programs and services to America’s farmers and ranchers while taking safety measures in response to the coronavirus outbreak. USDA Service Centers have not been open to visitors for several months during the COVID-19 pandemic, but USDA employees continue to assist agricultural producers with disaster assistance, conservation, safety net, and farm loan programs and services like conservation planning and acreage reporting while supporting flexibilities for producers and implementing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities (CARES) Act. USDA is now using a phased, data-driven approach to re-open USDA Service Centers for in-person appointments. We will update this page with current information on USDA Service Center status.

Updated Service Center Status and Continued Service

All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including some that are open to visitors to conduct business in person by appointment only.   

USDA is using data to make county-level decisions regarding phased re-opening of USDA Service Centers for visitors. Visit farmers.gov/coronavirus/service-center-status to check the status of your local USDA Service Center.

All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment. Service Centers that are open for appointments will pre-screen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel, and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors are also required to wear a face covering during their appointment.

USDA will continue using Microsoft Teams to enable producers to meet with USDA Service Center staff virtually. Download step-by-step instructions for getting started via desktop, laptop, or mobile device.

Through Box and OneSpan, USDA now offers services that make it easier than ever for producers working with our Farm Service Agency or Natural Resources Conservation Service to conveniently access, sign, and share documents online. These tools do not require any software downloads – you can get started with a simple username and password for Box or, for OneSpan, a quick identity verification. Learn more at farmers.gov/mydocs.

Field work, including conservation planning assistance, still continues with appropriate social distancing.

 

Updates on USDA Program Flexibilities and the CARES Act 

USDA announced up to an additional $14 billion for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19. USDA’s Farm Service Agency will accept Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 applications from September 21 through December 11, 2020.

In addition to implementing the CARES Act, the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Risk Management Agency are working to provide additional flexibilities to help producers impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

Current USDA flexibilities and programs for farmers and ranchers include:




 

U.S. Small Business Administration Programs for Farmers

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers multiple programs available to agricultural producers whose operations have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The new Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act provides additional resources for both the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.

Participation in SBA’s PPP or EIDL program does not impact producer eligibility for USDA’s forthcoming  Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). There is no linkage among these programs. Likewise, participation in SBA’s PPP or EIDL program does not impact producer eligibility for any USDA farm program. The PPP duplicate benefit provision does not have an impact on FSA farm programs or farm loan programs.


 

Resources for Conducting Business Online

A suite of online services are available for conducting business with USDA, including our new Box and OneSpan functionality that enable customers to sign and share FSA and NRCS documents with USDA Service Center staff in just a few clicks. Producers can get started with a simple username and password for Box or, for OneSpan, a quick identity verification.  

Additional services are available to customers with an eAuthentication account, which provides access to the farmers.gov portal, FSAfarm+, and Conservation Client Gateway

    With eAuthentication access, through the farmers.gov portal, you can:

    • View farm loans information, history, and payments for USDA farm loans;
    • Prepare to enroll in the 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP), and track your application;
    • Prepare to enroll in the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) which helps agricultural producers affected by natural disasters in 2018 and 2019; and
    • Request assistance, e-sign documents, submit questions, access information on current and past conservation practices, and view detailed information on contracts related to USDA conservation support.

    With eAuthentication access, through the FSA websites, you can:

    • Request Loan Deficiency Payments through eLDP;
    • Choose a payment option, assign crop shares, and sign and submit ARC/PLC contracts online, as well as view and print submitted contracts;
    • View your FSA data on FSAfarm+, including farm records data and maps; and
    • Apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 via the CFAP 2 Application Portal.

    With eAuthentication access, through the NRCS Conservation Client Gateway, you can:

    • Track NRCS payments,
    • Report completed practices,
    • Request conservation assistance, and
    • Electronically sign documents.

    Customers who do not already have an eAuthentication account can enroll by selecting the “Sign In | Sign Up” option at the top of the page. This provides step-by-step instructions for creating an account.
     

     

    Latest News

    September 18, 2020: USDA to Provide Additional Direct Assistance to Farmers and Ranchers Impacted by the Coronavirus

    August 28, 2020: Deadline Approaching for USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

    August 11, 2020: USDA Announces More Eligible Commodities for CFAP

    August 5, 2020: USDA Extends Deadlines, Defers Interest Accrual Due to COVID-19

    July 9, 2020: Additional Commodities Eligible for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

    July 1, 2020: USDA Reminds Producers to Complete Crop Acreage Reports

    June 25, 2020: USDA Adds Digital Options for Farmers and Ranchers to Apply for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

    June 4, 2020: USDA Issues First Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Payments

    June 1, 2020: USDA Modifies Dairy Revenue Protection Sales Period

    May 29, 2020: USDA Allows Extensions on Insurance Deadlines, Deferral of Interest To Help Producers Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

    May 21, 2020: FSA Expands Set-Aside Loan Provision for Customers Impacted by COVID-19

    May 4, 2020: USDA Allows Flexibilities for Organic Certification Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

    April 17, 2020: USDA Announces Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

    April 10, 2020: USDA Addresses Milk Dumping, Authorizes Other Flexibilities To Help Producers Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

    April 9, 2020: USDA Announces Loan Maturity for Marketing Assistance Loans Now Extended to 12 Months

    April 3, 2020: USDA Adds Additional Flexibilities for Crop Insurance to Support America’s Farmers and Ranchers 

    March 27, 2020: USDA Adds Flexibilities for Crop Insurance to Support America’s Farmers and Ranchers

    March 26, 2020: FSA Makes Changes to Farm Loan, Disaster, Conservation and Safety Net Programs to Make it Easier for Customers to Conduct Business

    March 26, 2020: USDA Continues Conservation Planning and Programs for America’s Farmers and Ranchers

     

    Find Your Local Service Center

    We are committed to delivering USDA services to America’s farmers and ranchers while taking safety measures in response to COVID-19. While employees continue to staff our Service Centers, some are only available for phone appointments at this time. You can learn the status of your service center through this tool. Learn more at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

    USDA Service Centers are locations where you can connect with Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or Rural Development employees for your business needs. Enter your state and county below to find your local service center and agency offices. If this locator does not work in your browser, please visit offices.usda.gov.

    Visit the Risk Management Agency website to find a regional or compliance office or to find an insurance agent near you.