More assistance for farmers made available

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that it will provide approximately $123 million in additional, automatic financial assistance for qualifying farm loan program borrowers who are facing financial risk, as part of the $3.1 billion to help distressed farm loan borrowers that was provided through Section 22006 of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The announcement builds on financial assistance offered to borrowers through the same program in October 2022.

The IRA directed USDA to expedite assistance to distressed borrowers of direct or guaranteed loans administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) whose operations face financial risk.

 In October 2022, USDA provided approximately $800 million in initial IRA assistance to more than 11,000 delinquent direct and guaranteed borrowers and approximately 2,100 borrowers who had their farms liquidated and still had remaining debt. USDA shared that it would conduct case-by-case reviews of about 1,600 complex cases for potential initial relief payments, including cases of borrowers in foreclosure or bankruptcy. These case-by-case reviews are underway.

At the same time in October 2022, USDA announced that it anticipated payments using separate pandemic relief funding totaling roughly $66 million on more than 7,000 direct loans to borrowers who used the USDA Farm Service Agency’s disaster-set-aside option during the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of these payments have been processed and USDA anticipates it will complete all such payments in April 2023.

New assistance   

 FSA intends to provide the new round of relief starting in April to additional distressed borrowers. This will include approximately $123 million in automatic financial assistance for qualifying Farm Loan Program (FLP) direct loan borrowers who meet certain criteria.

Similar to the automatic payments announced in October 2022, qualifying borrowers will receive an individual letter detailing the assistance as payments are made. Distressed borrowers’ eligibility for these new categories of automatic payments will be determined based on their circumstances as of today. More information about the new categories that make up the $123 million in assistance recently announced and the specific amount of assistance a distressed borrower receives can be found described in this fact sheet, IRA Section 22006: Additional Automatic Payments, Improved Procedures, and Policy Recommendations.

To continue to make sure producers are aware of relief potentially available to them, all producers with open FLP loans will receive a letter detailing a new opportunity to receive assistance if they took certain extraordinary measures to avoid delinquency on their FLP loans, such as taking on more debt, selling property or cashing out retirement accounts.

Information submitted by Donna L. Gray, Program Technician|Refugio-Goliad County FSA

Recommended for you