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Important Dates

View important dates like upcoming USDA program deadlines and events, and ongoing national USDA programs.

Upcoming Important Dates

View important dates like upcoming national USDA program deadlines and events.

Note: This does not include every deadline and only includes federal deadlines. Check with you local USDA Service Center to learn about all available programs, and programs that have local or state level deadlines.

Conservation Program State Ranking Dates

USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) accepts applications for it's conservation programs year-round. Producers should apply by their state's ranking dates to be considered for funding in the current cycle. Applications received after ranking dates will be automatically deferred to the next funding period.

Whole-Farm Revenue Protection

USDA’s Risk Management Agency's Whole-Farm Revenue Protection provides a risk management safety net for all commodities on the farm under one insurance. This covers farms with specialty or organic commodities and those marketing to local, regional, specialty, and direct markets, and allows diversified farms to insure all their crops under one policy. 

The sales closing date for Whole-Farm Revenue Protection varies by region and includes January 31, February 28 and March 31, 2024.

Micro Farm Program

USDA’s Risk Management Agency's Micro Farm Program gives smaller operations (up to $350,000 in approved revenue) a more cost-effective way to insure all or most of their commodities under one policy. This is ideal for producers who participate in farmers markets and local food networks because post-production operations, such as canning, freezing, and processing can be used to calculate your farm’s insurance guarantee. 

The sales closing date for the Micro Farm Program varies by region, and includes February 28, March 31, and April 15, 2024.

Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) Programs

You can now can elect coverage and enroll in USDA's Farm Service Agency’s Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2024 crop year. Producers can enroll and make election changes until the deadline on March 15, 2024. 

Ongoing USDA Programs

The following federal USDA programs either do not have a deadline or have ongoing signup. Check with your local USDA Service Center to learn more about programs that have local or state level deadlines.

Crop Acreage Reporting

Crop acreage reports filed with USDA document the crops grown on your farm or ranch and their intended uses. You must file timely acreage reports to be eligible for many USDA programs.

Deadlines to file crop acreage reports vary by crop and by state and county.  Farm Service Agency staff at your local USDA Service Center can help by providing you with maps and acreage reporting deadlines by crop for your county. Your crop insurance agent can assist you with reporting information necessary for crop insurance benefits.

July 15 is a major deadline for most crops.

General Disaster Programs

USDA offers a variety of helpful programs with ongoing and localized deadlines to support agricultural producers including:

  • Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) which provides funding and technical assistance for farmers and ranchers to restore farmland damaged by natural disasters and for emergency water conservation measures in severe droughts.
  • FSA Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP) which  provides funding to restore privately owned forests damaged by natural disasters.
  • Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) which provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops to protect against natural disasters that result in lower yields or crop losses, or prevents crop planting.
  • Tree Assistance Program (TAP) which provides financial cost-share assistance to qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or, where applicable, rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes, and vines lost by natural disasters.
Livestock Disaster Programs

USDA offers a variety of helpful programs with ongoing and localized deadlines to support livestock producers including:

  • Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP) which provides financial assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish for losses due to disease, certain adverse weather events or loss conditions, including blizzards and wildfires, as determined by the Secretary.
  • Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) which provides benefits to livestock owners and some contract growers for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by eligible loss conditions, including eligible adverse weather, eligible disease and attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government or protected by federal law (including wolves and avian predators).
  • Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) provides payments to eligible livestock owners and contract growers who have covered livestock and produce grazed forage crop acreage that has suffered a loss of grazed forage due to a qualifying drought during the normal grazing period for the county.
Organic Transition Initiative

If you are considering a transition to organic farming, the Organic Transition Initiative (OTI) may be helpful to you. OTI has programs across many agencies. For help with natural resources on your farm, often aligned with the required organic management plan, contact your local USDA Service Center to apply.

Past Important Dates

The following list shows past important dates, including past federal USDA program enrollment dates. Check with your local USDA Service Center to learn about programs that are currently open or that have local or state level deadlines.

Food Safety Certification for Specialty Crops Program
January 31, 2024

USDA’s Farm Service Agency’s Food Safety Certification for Specialty Crops Program (FSCSC) assists specialty crop operations that incur eligible on-farm food safety program expenses related to obtaining or renewing a food safety certification in calendar years 2022 and 2023. The deadline to apply for FSCSC assistance for calendar year 2023 is January 31, 2024.

Discrimination Financial Assistance Program
January 13, 2024

Section 22007 of the Inflation Reduction Act authorized $2.2 billion in financial assistance to farmers and ranchers who experienced discrimination in USDA Farm Loan Programs prior to Jan. 1, 2021. Applications for the Discrimination Financial Assistance Program are due Jan. 13, 2024. Applications for the program are free and do not require a lawyer.

Inflation Reduction Act Assistance for Distressed Borrowers
December 31, 2023

USDA's Farm Service Agency is accepting and reviewing individual assistance requests from direct farm loan borrowers who missed a recent installment or are unable to make their next scheduled installment, and borrowers who took certain extraordinary measures to avoid delinquency on their direct farm loans. All requests for assistance must be received by Dec. 31, 2023.

Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (for Inflation Reduction Act funding)
November 13, 2023

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for Inflation Reduction Act funding through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) until Nov. 13, 2023. NRCS expanded the national priority areas eligible for easements in fiscal year 2024.

Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP)
November 01, 2023

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will accept applications for the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) from May 15, 2023, through November 1, 2023. OCCSP provides cost share assistance to producers and handlers of agricultural products who are obtaining or renewing their certification under the National Organic Program (NOP).

Margin Protection Insurance Plan
September 30, 2023

USDA's Risk Management Agency’s Margin Protection insurance plan has been expanded for corn and soybean producers in more than a thousand additional counties. Margin Protection insurance provides coverage against an unexpected decrease in operating margin caused by reduced county yields, reduced commodity prices, increased prices of certain inputs, or any combination of these perils.

The expanded coverage will be available by June 30, 2023. The Sales Closing Date to purchase Margin Protection coverage for 2024 crop year corn, soybeans and wheat is September 30, 2023.