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Posted on May 16, 2022 in Featured, News Releases

New USDA emergency relief payments benefit Texas producers

New USDA emergency relief payments benefit Texas producers

(WACO, Texas)—The state’s largest general farm organization said Texas farmers and ranchers will benefit from emergency relief payments announced today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Payments from USDA’s Farm Service Agency’s Emergency Relief Program (ERP) for producers impacted by natural disaster events in 2020 and 2021 will help offset crop yield and value losses during those years.

“We appreciate USDA’s efforts to address the hardships from natural disasters in 2020 and 2021,” Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boening said. “We had been anticipating the program’s announcement for several weeks, so we’re pleased that applications can now be completed for assistance.”

Phase one of ERP eligibility covers losses to crops, trees, bushes and vines due to a qualifying natural disaster event in calendar years 2020 and 2021. Eligible crops include all crops for which crop insurance or NAP coverage was available, except for crops intended for grazing. Qualifying natural disaster events include wildfires, hurricanes, floods, derechos, excessive heat, winter storms, freeze (including a polar vortex), smoke exposure, excessive moisture, qualifying drought and related conditions.

For drought, ERP assistance is available if any area within the county in which the loss occurred was rated by the U.S. Drought Monitor as having a severe drought for eight consecutive weeks or extreme drought or higher level of drought intensity.

Phase two of ERP is intended for crop and livestock producers who did not participate in or receive payments through the existing programs that are being leveraged for phase one implementation.

“Texas farmers and ranchers are struggling to manage the much higher costs of production that they’re paying due to inflation and disruptions in supply chains,” Boening said. “Any assistance from the Emergency Relief Program that can help offset past losses because of natural disaster will be welcome by producers.”

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Crops such as this freeze-damaged watermelon crop in the Rio Grande Valley in 2021 would be eligible for assistance under the USDA’s Farm Service Agency’s Emergency Relief Program announced on May 16. 

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