USDA Update – May 31, 2021

Agriculture USDA Service Center Update
Published Monday, May 31, 2021
by Eads USDA Service Center

IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER:

  • CRP General CRP signup #56 - delayed
  • CORONAVIRUS FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAM - Signup reopened April 5 for at least 60 days. 
  • PRIMARY NESTING SEASON - March 15 - July 15

Disclaimer:  Information in this UPDATE is pertinent to Kiowa County FSA only.  Producers reading this and that do not have FSA interest in Kiowa County are advised to contact their local FSA Office. 

THE USDA SERVICE CENTER HAS A DROP BOX AVAILABLE ON THE EAST SIDE OF THE BUILDING. 

MOISTURE RECEIVED

It's been a May for the record books!  The average rainfall for Eads in the month of May is 2.2 inches; here at the Service Center the recorded moisture for May is 4.62 inches, well above the normal.  

CRP SIGNUP 

Still no word on resuming CRP signup for existing contracts with expiration of 9-30-2021, eligible expired CRP and eligible cropland.  Producers who are interested in possibly offering current eligible cropland; please contact the office to be placed on a list, to be contacted when signup does resume.

Drought conditions have also improved in the area. Most of Kiowa County is now in abnormally dry conditions, a marked improvement from extreme and exceptional drought at the start of the year. A sliver of the western part of the county in the Arlington area has reached drought-free status.

2021-05-27_map_colorado_drought_conditions_-_may_25_2021_-_national_drought_mitigation_center.png

MAP Colorado Drought Conditions - May 25, 2021 - National Drought Mitigation Center
Colorado Drought Conditions - May 25, 2021 - National Drought Mitigation Center

AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN

Socially Disadvantaged Farmer Debt Payment USDA recognizes that socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers have faced systemic discrimination with cumulative effects that have, among other consequences, led to a substantial loss in the number of socially disadvantaged producers, reduced the amount of farmland they control, and contributed to a cycle of debt that was exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, socially disadvantaged communities saw a disproportionate amount of COVID-19 infection rates, loss of property, hospitalizations, death, and economic hurt.

To address these systemic challenges, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provides historic debt relief to socially disadvantaged producers including Black/African American, American Indian or Alaskan native, Hispanic or Latino, and Asian American or Pacific Islander.

USDA is now reviewing and working to gather feedback to implement the Act, and more guidance will be forthcoming for socially disadvantaged borrowers with direct or guaranteed farm loans as well as Farm Storage Facility Loans. As information becomes available, it will be provided directly to socially disadvantaged borrowers and stakeholder groups representing socially disadvantaged producers, posted here on farmers.gov, and shared through our social media channels, email newsletters, and the media.

 Who qualifies for this debt relief?

Any socially disadvantaged borrower with direct or guaranteed farm loans as well as Farm Storage Facility Loans qualifies. The American Rescue Plan Act uses the 2501 definition of socially disadvantaged, which includes Black/African American, American Indian or Alaskan native, Hispanic or Latino, and Asian American or Pacific Islander. Gender is not a criterion in and of itself, but of course women are included in these categories.

I qualify as socially disadvantaged under the American Rescue Plan definition, but I am not late on my payments. Do I still qualify?

Yes. Any socially disadvantaged borrower with direct or guaranteed farm loans as well as Farm Storage Facility Loans qualifies.

When will qualified borrowers begin to see a loan pay-off or other payment in response to the American Rescue Plan?

USDA is now reviewing and working to gather feedback to implement the Act, and more guidance will be forthcoming for socially disadvantaged borrowers with direct or guaranteed farm loans as well as Farm Storage Facility Loans. For borrowers in arrears, the moratorium established on January 26th to stop all debt collections, foreclosures and evictions for all borrowers, including socially disadvantaged producers, remains in effect.

Producers who have worked with USDA's Farm Service Agency previously may have their ethnicity and race on file.  A borrower, including those with guaranteed loans, can contact their local their local USDA Service Center to verify, update or submit a new ethnicity and race designation using the AD-2047. Find your nearest service center at farmers.gov/service-locator.

To learn more about USDA's work to implement the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, visit www.usda.gov/arp.

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The Kiowa County Press is an independent newspaper published in Eads, Kiowa County, Colorado, and to the world at KiowaCountyPress.net.