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$9.6 billion set aside for farmers

To cover losses from drought, fire, hurricanes

— More than over $9.6 billion in payments will be made to producers through the Agriculture Risk Coverage, Price Loss Coverage and Conservation Reserve programs, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has announced.

“Many of these payments will be made to landowners and producers in rural communities that have recently been ravaged by drought, wildfires, and deadly hurricanes,” Perdue said.

“I am hopeful this financial assistance will help those experiencing losses with immediate cash flow needs as we head toward the end of the year."

The risk coverage and loss coverage programs were authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

They offer a safety net to agricultural producers when there is a substantial drop in revenue or prices for covered commodities.

More than half a million producers will receive risk payments and more than a quarter million producers will receive loss payments for 2016 crops, starting this week and continuing over the next several months.

Payments are being made to producers who enrolled base acres of barley, corn, grain sorghum, lentils, oats, peanuts, dry peas, soybeans, wheat and canola.

In the upcoming months, payments will be announced after marketing year average prices are published by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service for the remaining covered commodities.

Those include long and medium grain rice (except for temperate Japonica rice), which will be announced in November; remaining oilseeds and chickpeas, which will be announced in December; and temperate Japonica rice, which will be announced in early February 2017.

The estimated payments are before application of sequestration and other reductions and limits, including adjusted gross income limits and payment limitations.

Also, as part of an ongoing effort to protect sensitive lands and improve water quality and wildlife habitat, USDA will begin issuing 2017 conservation reserve payments this week to more than 375,000 Americans.

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