More than 26,000 customers who submit a Direct Loan application each now have an online option that provides an electronic signature option, the ability to attach supporting documents such as tax returns, complete a balance sheet and build a farm operating plan.
A bright spot for farmers is that some production costs, including feed, fertilizer and pesticides, have declined, USDA Secretary Vilsack said. The agency is taking those factors into account as it works with Congress on the next Farm Bill into 2024.
In 2022, USDA announced the expansion of insurance coverage for double cropping, which allows farmers to plant a second crop on the same land in the same year, helping to boost production without relying on farmers to substitute crops or cultivate new land.
Approximately $3.1 billion will be spent on 141 pilot projects, providing incentives for producers to adopt climate-sensitive practices on working lands.
Approximately $45 million will be made available by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to organizations that help underserved and veteran farmers, ranchers and foresters own and operate successful farms.
The bill addresses the shortage of technical service providers who help producers access USDA conservation programs through one-on-one assistance.
The act would double the authorization of current programs from $50 million to $100 million to ensure access to agricultural innovation projects across multiple states.
USDA will provide approximately $123 million in additional, automatic financial assistance for qualifying farm loan program borrowers who are facing financial risk.
The commission made 32 recommendations for the department to root out discrimination, remove barriers to USDA’s programs and commit to addressing farmworkers’ needs.
In 2022, the USDA’s Farm Service Agency FSA provided nearly $800 million in assistance to distressed borrowers.