U.S. agriculture is currently experiencing its most productive period in decades thanks to the productivity, resiliency, and resourcefulness of America’s producers. The improvements outlined today will help producers and businesses maintain this competitive edge. In late 2011, FSA announced a series of additional process improvements that included quicker disaster assistance and less reporting dates. Details follow:
USDA is reviewing comments on a proposed rule to streamline the process for its Secretarial Disaster Designation, allowing farmers and ranchers devastated by natural disasters to obtain emergency loans and other assistance faster than before. Streamlining the process from six steps to two will enable USDA to help those in need in an expedited manner. Additionally, the proposed rule can help to ensure all eligible disaster counties receive a designation.
USDA established 15 common Acreage Reporting Dates (ARDs) for farmers and ranchers participating in FSA and Risk Management Agency (RMA) programs. The common reporting dates will reduce the reporting burden on producers and also help to reduce USDA operating costs by sharing similar data across participating agencies. Before the streamlining, RMA had 54 ARDs for 122 crops, and FSA had 17 ARDs for 273 crops.
More information on the new Land Contract Guarantee Program and the other changes are available at local FSA offices nationwide. Information about Farm Loan Programs and FSA loan qualifications can be found at www.fsa.usda.gov.
The Obama Administration, with Agriculture Secretary Vilsack’s leadership, has worked tirelessly to strengthen rural America, implement the Farm Bill, maintain a strong farm safety net, and create opportunities for America’s farmers and ranchers. U.S. agriculture is currently experiencing one of its best years in decades thanks to the productivity, resiliency, and resourcefulness of our producers. Today, net farm income is at record levels while debt has been cut in half since the 1980s. Overall, American agriculture supports 1 in 12 jobs in the United States and provides American consumers with 86 percent of the food we consume, while maintaining affordability and choice. The Obama Administration has aggressively worked to expand export opportunities and reduce barriers to trade, helping to push agricultural exports to record levels in 2011 and beyond. Strong agricultural exports are a positive contribution to the U.S. trade balance, support nearly 1 million American jobs and boost economic growth.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).