Helping Farmers Address Global Food Insecurity

The pandemic and Ukraine invasion have led to supply chain disruptions, higher prices of inputs, and goods shortages in countries across the globe. USDA is adding program flexibilities, expanding options and assistance, and investing in fertilizer to help farmers address inflation and global food insecurity.   

Investing in Fertilizer 

USDA will begin accepting applications in the coming days through grants.gov for the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program. USDA’s Rural Development (RD) is making available $500 million to support independent, innovative and sustainable American fertilizer production to supply American farmers. Funds also will expand the manufacturing and processing of fertilizer and nutrient alternatives in the U.S. and its territories. 

Eligible entities are for‐profit businesses and corporations, nonprofit entities, Tribes and Tribal organizations, producer‐owned cooperatives and corporations, certified benefit corporations, and state or local governments. Private entities must be independently owned and operated to apply. 

This program is farmer-focused, as it provides support and opportunities for U.S. agricultural producers. 

To learn more, read the September 27, 2022 new release.

Expanded Options and Assistance 

Crop Insurance for Double Cropping 

To reduce the risk of raising two crops on the same land in one year – a practice known as double cropping - USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) is expanding double crop insurance opportunities in more than 1,500 counties where double cropping is viable.

Improvements include:

  • For soybeans, double crop coverage will be expanded to or streamlined in at least 681 counties, including all of those that were initially targeted for review.
  • For grain sorghum, double crop coverage will be expanded to or streamlined in at least 870 counties that were initially targeted for review.
  • RMA will also work with the crop insurance industry and farm organizations to highlight the availability and improvements in written agreements as an option for any farmer that grows a crop outside the area where a policy is automatically offered.

Additional resources include the USDA’s July 12, 2022 news release, as well as the maps, and frequently asked questions.

Precision Agriculture and Nutrient Management 

USDA is increasing its technical assistance for nutrient management practices, including precision agriculture, helping farmers more efficiently use fertilizer and reduce costs. This includes streamlining the application process for NRCS conservation programs like EQIP and CSP and prioritizing application approvals to expand access to its nutrient management planning and cost sharing assistance programs.   

NRCS accepts applications for EQIP and CSP year-round. If you’re interested in applying, contact the NRCS office at your local USDA Service Center

With fertilizer costs more than doubling in the past year, it’s more important than ever to strategically manage nutrients. On average, farmers can save nearly $30 per acre on land currently receiving excess nutrients by implementing a nutrient management plan. Learn more about SMART Nutrient Management.

The Inflation Reduction Act will deliver $19.5 billion in new conservation funding to support climate-smart agriculture that will bolster the new steps that NRCS is taking to improve opportunities for nutrient management. This is part of USDA’s broader effort to address future fertilizer availability and cost challenges for U.S. producers.

Program Flexibilities 

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) 

USDA is allowing CRP participants who are in the final year of their CRP contract to request voluntary contract termination following the end of the primary nesting season for fiscal year 2022. This allows producers wanting to return land to production to begin preparation work earlier than normal. 

If you are approved for this one-time, voluntary termination, you will not have to repay rental payments, a flexibility implemented this year. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) mailed letters to these CRP participants in late May with additional details. Read more in our May 26, 2022 news release

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) 

USDA is offering EQIP and CSP participants who have cover cropping included in their existing contracts to:  

  • Modify their plans to plant a cover crop and shift to a conservation crop rotation; or  

  • Delay their cover crop plans a year.  

This enables producers to respond to market signals while still ensuring the conservation benefits through USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for participating producers. Read more in our May 26, 2022 news release

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 the pandemic. Many USDA Service Centers are open for visitors, but some may remain open by appointment only. Contact your local Service Center to determine their open status or make an appointment. Service Center staff continues to work with agricultural producers via phone, email, and other digital tools. 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.