Deadline to Submit Applications is Friday, July 22
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that to date, agricultural producers have already received more than $4 billion through the Emergency Relief Program (ERP), representing approximately 67% of the more than $6 billion projected to be paid through this first phase of the program.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) mailed out pre-filled applications in late May to producers with crop insurance who suffered losses due to natural disasters in 2020 and 2021. Commodity and specialty crop producers have until July 22 to complete applications.
“We recognize the financial recovery need is great and worked deliberately to create a program delivery process that would ensure quick payments to producers,” Vilsack said. “I am extremely proud to share that the strategically streamlined ERP application and program implementation process have yielded the desired results – reduced burdens on and expedited payments to approximately 120,000 disaster-impacted agricultural producers, to date.”
USDA is implementing ERP and ELRP in two phases, with the first phase utilizing existing claim data to provide relief expediently, and the second phase focusing on ensuring producers not covered by other programs receive assistance. For phase one, USDA used crop insurance and Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) claim data.
Both ERP and the previously announced Emergency Livestock Relief Program (ELRP) are funded by the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act, which President Biden signed into law in 2021. The law provided $10 billion to help agricultural producers impacted by wildfires, droughts, hurricanes, winter storms and other eligible disasters experienced during calendar years 2020 and 2021, of which $750 million is committed to livestock producers who experienced losses to drought or wildfire in calendar year 2021. Eligible livestock producers received ELRP payments totaling more than $590 million since the program was rolled out in late March.