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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

Farmers and ranchers can now start making in-person appointments at several USDA Service Centers across the country as part of USDA’s phased reopening process. Other USDA Service Centers remain open for business by phone 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.

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 Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program on April 17, 2020, which will provide $16 billion in direct support related to the coronavirus pandemic. USDA is accepting CFAP applications now through August 28, 2020. Producers should apply through the Farm Service Agency at their local USDA Service Center. Learn more below, and at farmers.gov/cfap.

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:

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, or CFAP, provides vital financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a five-percent-or-greater price decline or who had losses due to market supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19 and face additional significant market costs.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency is accepting CFAP applications through September 11, 2020. Producers should contact the Farm Service Agency at their local USDA Service Center to schedule an appointment. Learn more at farmers.gov/cfap.

Dumped Milk

COVID-19 shutdowns have caused disruption in the milk market, and dairy producers are dumping milk as a result.

Adjustments for Dumped Milk

USDA’s Risk Management Agency is ensuring that milk producers who purchased insurance are not inappropriately penalized if their milk must be dumped because of recent market disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

For the 2020 calendar year, RMA is allowing Approved Insurance Providers (AIPs) to count dumped milk toward the milk marketings for the DRP or actual marketings for the LGM-Dairy programs regardless of whether the milk was sold. Producers will still have to provide to the AIPs supporting documentation from the cooperative or milk handler verifying the actual pounds dumped and that the milk was dumped.
 

Crop Insurance Flexibilities

Producers can continue to work with their Approved Insurance Providers, or AIPs, on policies, claims, and agreements. Farmers with crop insurance questions or needs should continue to contact their insurance agents about conducting business by telephone or email.

USDA’s Risk Management Agency is working with those insurance providers to provide additional flexibilities in response to COVID-19, including:

  • Enabling producers to send notifications and reports electronically.
  • Extending the date for production reports.
  • Providing additional time and deferring interest on premium and administrative fee payments.
  • Extending the correction time period for acreage reports and other forms.
  • Modifying the sales period for Dairy Revenue Protection.
  • Authorizing replant self-certification.
  • Waiving the witness signature requirement for approval of Assignments of Indemnity.
  • Allowing dumped milk to be counted as milk marketings for the Dairy Revenue Protection or actual marketings for the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy programs.
  • Allowing phone and electronic transactions for 2021 crop year sales and reporting dates, including options and endorsements.
  • Extending the deadline for some perennial crop Pre-Acceptance Inspection Reports.
  • Waiving the 2021 crop year inspection requirements for the Nursery and Nursery Value Select programs in certain cases.
  • Authorizing AIPs to allow organic producers to report acreage as certified organic, or transitioning to organic, for the 2020 crop year if they can show they have requested a written certification from a certifying agent by their policy’s acreage reporting date.

Electronic Notifications 

Notifications and information may be sent by phone or electronic methods between policyholders and their crop insurance agents to do the following:

  • Written agreement issues, acreage and production reporting, and upcoming sales closing dates (deadlines to buy crop insurance)
  • 2021 Crop Year Sales and Reporting: To make policy elections, such as coverage level, and to report acreage and production
  • Reporting Deadline for Options, Endorsements and Forms: To select options and endorsements occurring for the sales closing, production reporting date and acreage reporting deadline

Notice of the policyholder’s election may be provided over the phone with appropriate documentation of the call or using electronic methods followed by their confirmation of such election in writing (via a signed, or e-signed, form) no later than July 15, 2020.

Production Reporting Dates

For the 2020 crop year, AIPs may accept production reports through the earlier of the acreage reporting date or 30 days after the production reporting date for crops insured under the Common Crop Insurance Policy Basic Provisions with a PRD of March 15, 2020, or later. Generally, the PRD for crops insured under the Common Crop Insurance Policy Basic Provisions is the earlier of the ARD or 45 days after the cancellation date.

More Time and Deferred Interest on Payments

AIPs are authorized to provide additional time for policyholders to make payment of premium and administrative fees. USDA announced on May 29 that interest accrual on premium payments and administrative fees will be waived to the earliest of an additional 60 days from the scheduled payment due date or the termination date on policies with premium billing dates between March 1, 2020, and July 31, 2020. AIPs were also authorized to provide additional time for policyholders to make payment for Written Payment Agreements due between March 1, 2020, and July 31, 2020. Payments may be extended up to 60 days from the scheduled payment due date and considered a timely payment.

On August 5, USDA announced that RMA authorizes AIPs to extend deadlines for payments, defer interest accrual, and provide other continued flexibilities to help farmers, ranchers, and insurance providers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, RMA authorized AIPs:

  • to provide policyholders additional time to pay premium and administrative fees.
  • to waive the resulting accrual of interest to the earlier of 60 days after their scheduled payment due date or the termination date on policies with premium billing dates between August 1, 2020, and September 30, 2020.
  • to provide up to an additional 60 days for policyholders to make payment and waive additional interest for Written Payment Agreements due between August 1, 2020, and September 30, 2020.

Acreage Reporting Corrections

The correction time period is extended an additional 30 days for an acreage report or other forms that must be submitted by the acreage reporting date to be consistent with the recent Farm Service Agency acreage reporting 30-day late file fee waiver in Notice CP-757. This will allow producers to make certain that the information they provide for the FSA 578 Report of Acreage form is correct and consistent with the acreage report filed with their crop insurance agent.

Dairy Revenue Protection Sales Period Modification

The sales period over weekends is modified for Dairy Revenue Protection (DRP) because of the high volatility of milk prices. Starting June 5, 2020, the sales period will begin no later than 4:30 p.m. Central Time (CT) when the coverage prices and rates are published and will end at 9:00 a.m. CT of the following business day or 9:00 a.m. CT on Sunday, whichever is earlier. The next sales period will begin no later than 4:30 p.m. CT on the following business day. This change only impacts when milk producers can purchase DRP quarterly endorsements, not the timing of indemnity payments. This modification will also be incorporated into the DRP policy for the 2022 crop year.

Replant Self-Certification

For the 2020 crop year only, AIPs are authorized to allow self-certification replant inspections for up to 100 gross acres (before considering share) per unit in lieu of 50 acres.

Authorized crops for self-certification of up to 100 acres for replant include: barley and wheat not covered by the Winter Coverage Endorsement (both initially planted winter and spring crops), buckwheat, canola and rapeseed, corn, dry beans, flax (spring-seeded only), grain sorghum, mustard, oats (spring-seeded only), popcorn (including popcorn revenue), peanuts, safflowers, soybeans, sugar beets, and sunflower seed.

Assignment of Indemnity

AIPs are authorized to waive the witness signature requirement for approval of Assignments through July 15, 2020. The insured’s and creditor’s signature on the Assignment will be required in a pen and ink signature and in the hand of the person whose signature is required or an acceptable electronic (digital) signature in accordance with the AIPs' established Electronic Business Implementation Plan and applicable RMA procedures.

Adjustments for Dumped Milk

COVID-19 shutdowns have caused disruption in the milk market, and dairy producers are dumping milk as a result. For the 2020 calendar year, RMA is allowing AIPs to count dumped milk toward the milk marketings for the Dairy Revenue Protection or actual marketings for the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy programs regardless of whether the milk was sold. Producers will still have to provide to the AIPs supporting documentation from the cooperative or milk handler verifying the actual pounds dumped and that the milk was dumped.

Deadline Extensions for Perennial Inspections:

  • Florida Citrus Fruit Dollar and Florida Fruit Tree Programs: The deadline is extended to July 15, 2020, from June 14.
  • New Apple Tree Program: AIPs must ensure inspections are completed by July 1, 2020, the date insurance attaches to the crop.
  • Pecan Tree Program: AIPs must ensure inspections are completed by July 1, 2020, the date insurance attaches to the crop.
  • All Other Perennial Crop Policies: The deadline is extended an additional 30 days for applicable perennial crop policies with an inspection deadline due on or before May 30, 2020.

Waiving of Inspection Requirements

RMA is authorizing AIPs to waive the 2021 crop year inspection requirements when an inspection report exists in the policyholder’s file for the Nursery Crop Provisions and Nursery Value Select for the 2017, 2018, 2019 or 2020 crop years. For the 2022 crop year, AIPs must inspect those policies that had a crop year 2021 waiver. Nursery Value Select is a new program for the 2021 crop year, with a deadline for signup of May 1, 2020, and insurance attaching on June 1. Normally, any inspections should be conducted in May for insurance to begin, as scheduled, on June 1.

Organic Certification Flexibilities

AIPs may allow organic producers to report acreage as certified organic, or transitioning to organic, for the 2020 crop year if they can show they have requested a written certification from a certifying agent by their policy’s acreage reporting date. In addition, policyholders who have requested but not received an organic certificate, organic plan, or other written documentation must notify their insurance agent within 30 days after the certifying agent informs them of their organic plan or certificate status. The policyholder notification may be made by phone, email, text, or other electronic communication method, and the AIPs must document the policyholder’s notification. Policyholders will be required to either sign digitally at the time of submission or must follow up with properly signed forms no later than July 15, 2020.

 

Farm Loan Flexibilities

We recognize that loan-making activities are critical for annual operating and family living expenses, term investments for equipment and livestock, emergency needs, and cash flow, especially in tough times.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency is providing additional flexibilities to provide producers with credit options in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Those include:

  • Where not legally prohibited, FSA will accept FAXed or scanned signatures from customers and lenders.
  • FSA will follow the most current state or local guidance for use of online or virtual notary services.

FSA is currently relaxing the loan-making process and adding flexibilities for servicing direct and guaranteed loans to provide credit to producers in need.

Relaxing the Loan Making Process

FSA is relaxing the loan making process and adding flexibilities for servicing direct and guaranteed loans to provide credit to producers in need. This includes:

  • For direct loan applicants, FSA provides two notifications of an incomplete application. These notices give the applicant 20 calendar days and 10 calendar days, respectively, to provide the additional information needed before the application is withdrawn.  FSA loan officials will maintain close communication with applicants who are experiencing difficulties completing application requirements due to complications from COVID-19 and may grant the applicant an extension.
  • Where lien searches cannot be properly completed due to local and state government office closures, applicants may be considered eligible and processing of the loan may continue without a county records search, assuming all other eligibility and loan making criteria can be satisfied.
  • Preparing loan closing documents even if FSA is unable to complete lien and record searches because of closed government buildings. Once those searches are complete, FSA would close the loan.
  • Closing loans if the required lien position on the primary security is perfected, even for loans that require additional security and those filings and recordings cannot be obtained because of closed government buildings.
  • Extending the repayment period of annual operating loans beyond 18 months to help borrowers survive through unique periods of financial difficulty.
  • Use of video conferencing to facilitate loan closings, where notary services are not required.
  • For guaranteed loans, FSA may grant an extension to guaranteed lenders that are unable to provide a complete application within the normal timeframe because of reasons outside of their control caused by COVID-19.  Because each applicant and lender’s circumstances are unique, extensions will be granted on a case-by-case basis.
  • If lenders need to extend credit to a customer that would normally require an FSA guarantee, but the lender is unable to apply for a guarantee due to the various pandemic restrictions in place, FSA will be as flexible as possible when evaluating the test for credit if the lender requests a guarantee on that loan at a later time. The lender would need to clearly document why they were unable to apply for the guarantee with the initial loan due to the coronavirus pandemic situation in their local area.

Given the current uncertainty and extreme volatility of commodity prices, it is difficult to project planning prices for many commodities with a high degree of certainty.  Therefore, FSA will continue the use of commodity planning prices already approved for the current year.  However, customers must be advised of the potential budget, cash flow, and loan impacts if projected prices are unable to be realized.

Servicing Direct Loans

FSA is extending deadlines for producers to respond to application packages for Primary Loan Servicing and Distressed Loan Servicing. Financially distressed and delinquent direct loan borrowers who have been notified of the available loan servicing options will be provided an additional time to:

  • submit a complete application for loan servicing,
  • accept an offer of loan servicing,
  • provide a response to a denial of loan servicing, or
  • request homestead protection.

FSA will temporarily suspend loan accelerations, non-judicial foreclosures, and referring foreclosures to the Department of Justice. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will make the determination whether to stop foreclosures and evictions on accounts under its jurisdiction.

Servicing Guaranteed Loans

In addition to the existing guaranteed loan servicing options already available within the FSA guaranteed loan program, FSA is offering lenders additional flexibility. This includes:

  • Standard Eligible Lenders (SEL) may certify that they have met all FSA requirements for annual line of credit advances and will not need FSA prior written approval.
  • SEL and Certified Lender Program (CLP) lenders may certify that they have met all FSA requirements for emergency advances and will not need FSA prior written approval.
  • SEL and CLP lenders may certify that they have a feasible plan for additional loans made outside of the guarantee and will not need FSA prior written approval. Loans made under the Small Business Administration’s new Paycheck Protection Program can be made at the lender’s discretion without FSA approval.

Lenders are also encouraged to submit status and default status reports online through the Lender LINC System. Lenders should contact the FSA office at their local USDA Service Center for questions related to a specific account, or any short-term payment deferral and forbearance consideration.

Disaster Set-Aside

FSA made the Disaster Set-Aside provision available to direct loan borrowers who have been impacted by the pandemic. This enables an upcoming annual installment to be set aside for the year and added to the final installment. For annual operating loans, the loan maturity date may be extended up to twelve months in order to set aside the installment.

This provision is normally used in the wake of natural disasters, and a second Disaster Set-Aside may be available for direct loan borrowers who already have a DSA in place on a loan due to another designated natural disaster.

Commodity Loan Flexibilities

Producers now have more time to repay Farm Service Agency Marketing Assistance Loans (MAL), as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s implementation of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020. The loans now mature at 12 months rather than nine, and this flexibility is available for most commodities.

About MALs

Placing commodities under loan provides producers interim financing to meet cash flow needs without having to sell their commodities when market prices are lows and allows producers to store production for more orderly marketing of commodities throughout the year.

These loans are considered nonrecourse because the commodity is pledged as loan collateral, and producers have the option of delivering the pledged collateral to the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) for repayment of the outstanding loan at maturity.

MAL Maturity Extension Eligibility

Effective immediately, producers of eligible commodities now have up to 12 months to repay their commodity loans. The maturity extension applies to nonrecourse loans for crop years 2018, 2019, and 2020. Eligible open loans must be in good standing with a maturity date of March 31, 2020 or later or new crop year (2019 or 2020) loans requested by September 30, 2020. All new loans requested by September 30, 2020 will have a maturity date 12 months following the date of approval.

The maturity extension for current, active loans will be automatically extended an additional three months. Loans that matured March 31 have already been automatically extended. Loans requested after September 30, 2020 will have a term of nine months.

Eligible commodities include barley, chickpeas (small and large), corn, cotton (upland and extra-long staple), dry peas, grain sorghum, honey, lentils, mohair, oats, peanuts, rice (long and medium grain), soybeans, unshorn pelts, wheat, wool (graded and nongraded); and other oilseeds, including canola, crambe, flaxseed, mustard seed, rapeseed, safflower, sunflower seed, and sesame seed. Seed cotton and sugar are not eligible.

MAL Repayment

Under the new maturity provisions, producers can still repay the loan as they would have before the extension:

  • repay the MAL on or before the maturity date;
  • upon maturity, by delivering or forfeiting the commodity to CCC as loan repayment; or
  • after maturity, and before CCC acquires the farm-stored commodity, by repaying the outstanding MAL principle and interest.

Market Loan Gains

A Marketing Loan Gain occurs when a MAL is repaid at less than the loan principal. If market gain is applicable during the now-extended loan period, producers can receive a gain on the repayment made before the loan matures.
 

Crop Acreage Reporting

Acreage reporting is key to eligibility for many USDA programs, including crop insurance, safety net, disaster assistance, farm loan, and conservation programs.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, FSA has implemented acreage reporting flexibilities. FSA can work with producers to file timely acreage reports by phone, email, online tools, and virtual meetings. Some FSA offices are open for in-person appointments, but you must call first to make an appointment.

Many FSA offices are using Microsoft Teams software to virtually meet with producers to review maps and documents for certification. Producers who want to schedule a virtual appointment can download the Microsoft Teams app on their smart phone or tablet and call the FSA office at their local USDA Service Center for an appointment. You may also use Microsoft Teams from your personal computer without downloading software.

County offices can provide producers with maps along with instructions for completing and returning the maps through either mail, email, or through commercially available free and secure online tools such as Box for file sharing and OneSpan for eSignature solutions. After planting is complete, producers should return completed maps and the acreage reporting sheet by the applicable deadline.

After completed maps and all acreage reporting information is received, FSA will make software updates and send producers the completed Report of Acreage form (FSA-578) to sign. Producers must return the signed form certifying their acreage report to the FSA office through mail, email, or the Box and OneSpan tools by the applicable deadline.

The following exceptions apply to acreage reporting dates:

  • If the crop has not been planted by the acreage reporting date, the acreage must be reported no later than 15 calendar days after planting is completed.
  • If a producer has not timely filed an acreage report, the producer may file the acreage report within 30 days of the acreage reporting date. Because of the pandemic, late fees will be waived if filed within the 30 days.

FSA is also providing additional flexibilities for producers to file on acres with failed crops or crops that were prevented from planting because of extreme weather events. For insured crops, producers who timely filed a prevented planted claim with the reinsurance company but filed a Notice of Loss (CCC-576) form after the deadline will be considered timely filed for FSA purposes. For uninsured crops, producers may start a Notice of Loss by calling their FSA county office.

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) policy holders should note that the acreage reporting date for NAP-covered crops is the earlier of the dates listed above or 15 calendar days before grazing or harvesting of the crop begins.

To file a crop acreage report, you need:

  • An FSA map of your farm or ranch and your tract and field numbers,
  • The intended use of your crops,
  • The number of acres of crops you are reporting, and
  • Approximate crop boundaries, planting patterns and dates, irrigation practices, and producer shares, and other information as directed by the local Service Center.

July 15 was a major deadline for most crops, but acreage reporting deadlines vary by county and by crop. Contact the FSA office at your local USDA Service Center for details in your county.

Animal Mortality

While support for livestock is available through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program in some circumstances, limited markets and processing may cause livestock producers to depopulate herds. NRCS offers assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to help agricultural producers properly dispose of livestock that were depopulated because of impacts from the coronavirus pandemic.

Through the Emergency Animal Mortality Management practice, NRCS helps producers plan and cover part of the cost for disposing of livestock because of an emergency animal mortality event.

Once capacity is reached in an animal mortality facility, NRCS will help producers dispose of the remaining livestock through burying, incinerating, disposal at landfill or render, and other disposal options.


Eligibility

  • To receive assistance, both an application and approved early start waiver must be filed with the local NRCS field office prior to disposal of animal carcasses.
  • Producers must have farm records established with the Farm Service Agency (FSA), meet all eligibility requirements, and have application filed at the local NRCS.
  • Financial assistance is limited and not all applications will be funded.
  • There are payment limitations. Call the NRCS office at your local USDA Service Center. Find your local USDA Service Center at farmers.gov/service-center-locator.


Swine

Prior to payment, a swine mortality certification is required by a veterinarian or animal health specialist. Payment rates for swine include:

  • Burial: $74.28 per animal unit ($89.14 for historically underserved producers)
  • Carcass disposal other than burial: $111.53 per animal unit ($191.20 for historically underserved producers)
  • Incineration: $219.88 per animal unit ($263.86 for historically underserved producers)
  • Disposal at landfill or render: $0.05 per pound ($.0.06 for historically underserved producers)

Conversion factor: 1,000 pounds = 1 animal unit

1 animal unit = 80 weaning pigs, 3.5 market hogs, or 2 sows

Historically underserved producers, including socially disadvantaged, beginning and limited resource farmers, Indian tribes, and beginning farmers/veterans, are eligible for an increased payment rate.

To learn more about Emergency Animal Mortality Management for swine, download this fact sheet.


Livestock and Poultry

Prior to payment, a livestock or poultry mortality certification is required by a veterinarian or animal health specialist. Payment rates for livestock and poultry include:

  • Disposal at landfill or render: $0.05 per pound ($.0.06 for historically underserved producers)
  • In-house Composting1: $76.88 per animal unit ($92.25 for historically underserved producers)
  • Composting – Purchase Carbon Material & Mobilize Equipment1:  $162.12 per animal unit ($277.93 for historically underserved producers)
  • Carcass Disposal – Other1: $111.53 per animal unit ($191.20 for historically underserved producers)
  • Shallow Burial Hooved Animals: $128.73 per animal unit ($154.48 for historically underserved producers)
  • Incineration: $219.88 per animal unit ($263.86 for historically underserved producers)
  • Burial: $74.28 per animal unit ($89.14 for historically underserved producers)

1 – Costs of materials, equipment and mobilization are highly variable. Actual costs may be significantly different from payment rates.

Conversion factor: 1,000 pounds = 1 animal unit

Historically underserved producers, including socially disadvantaged, beginning and limited resource farmers, Indian tribes, and beginning farmers/veterans, are eligible for an increased payment rate.

To learn more about Emergency Animal Mortality Management for livestock and poultry, download this fact sheet.


More Information

To learn more about EQIP and assistance through the Emergency Animal Mortality Management practice, call the NRCS office at your local USDA Service Center. Find your local USDA Service Center at farmers.gov/service-center-locator.

 

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.

Paycheck Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Program is a guaranteed loan program administered by the Small Business Administration. The purpose of the program is to support small businesses and help support their payroll during the coronavirus pandemic.

Agricultural producers, farmers, and ranchers with 500 or fewer employees whose principal place of residence is in the United States are eligible. Farms are eligible if:

  • The farm has 500 or less employees, OR
  • It fits within the revenue-based sized standard, which is on average annual receipts of $1M.

Additionally, farms can qualify for PPP if they meet SBA’s “alternative size standard.” The “alternative size standard” is currently:

  • A maximum net worth of the business not more than $15 million, AND
  • The average net income Federal income taxes of the business for the two full fiscal years before the date of the application be not more than $5 million.

Learn more about PPP and your potential eligibility by visiting usda.gov/coronavirus and sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options.
 

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program advance of up to $10,000 and borrow up to $2 million. This is administered through the Small Business Administration and  will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Loan advances will not have to be repaid.

SBA’s EIDL application portal reopened on May 4, 2020, as a result of funding authorized by Congress through the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act.

For the first time, agricultural enterprises are now eligible for the disaster assistance from EIDL. As a result of the unprecedented legislation, American farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural businesses will now have access to emergency working capital. These low-interest, long-term loans will help keep agricultural businesses viable while bringing stability to the nation’s vitally important food supply chains.

Agricultural businesses include businesses engaged in the legal production of food and fiber, ranching and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries (as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b)) are considered for eligibility. Eligible agricultural businesses must have 500 or fewer employees.

In order to help facilitate this important change to EIDL Loan and EIDL Advance assistance eligibility, SBA is re-opening the Loan and Advance application portal to agricultural enterprises only. For agricultural producers that submitted an EIDL loan application through the streamlined application portal prior to the legislative change, SBA will move forward and process these applications without the need for re-applying. All other EIDL loan applications that were submitted prior to April 15 will be processed on a first-in, first-out basis.

For more information, visit sba.gov
 

 

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 via the CFAP 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

    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.