March 21, 2023

USDA to ship $250 million in help to rice farmers, Sen. Boozman acknowledged for efforts

Rice acres and yields had been down throughout the board through the 2022 rising season. Farmers needed to battle wild climate fluctuations, illness and skyrocketing enter prices. However federal help is on the best way.

The U.S. Division of Agriculture (USDA) introduced Tuesday (Feb. 28) plans to offer as much as $250 million in help to rice farmers and what steps they’ll take to be ready to enroll when this system is launched later this spring. USDA is sharing data early so producers can put together for program join, which can embody a pre-filled utility in an effort to simplify and streamline the applying course of.

“USDA intends to make use of the streamlined strategy it has utilized on different catastrophe applications to hurry program implementation,” stated Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “By leveraging Farm Service Company and Threat Administration Company knowledge for the Emergency Aid Program, USDA saved farmers and employees vital time, and we expect this strategy will assist us present an preliminary fee extra rapidly with a closing fee after the applying interval has closed. I respect Senate Agriculture Committee Rating member Sen. John Boozman’s help bringing collectively rice farmers from throughout the nation to offer enter on easy methods to expedite and simplify the method.”

President Joe Biden signed H.R. 2617, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, late final 12 months which supplied the authority and funding for USDA to make funds to rice producers based mostly on knowledge already on file with the USDA, together with planted acres and acres prevented from being planted.

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Arkansas accounts for almost half the rice grown within the U.S. In 2020, rice contributed greater than $1.1 billion to the state’s agricultural economic system, in accordance with the 2022 Agricultural Profile revealed by the College of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. Planted acreage this rising season topped 1.11 million acres, in accordance with USDA’s NASS.

All rice manufacturing for the state final 12 months was forecast at 81.2 million hundredweight, down 5% from the August forecast and down 11% from final 12 months’s manufacturing of 91.1 million hundredweight, NASS reported. The all-rice yield for 2022 is forecast at 7,500 kilos per acre, down 50 kilos from August and down 130 kilos from final 12 months.

Bushels per acre dropped from 170 to 165.

The total particulars of this system and utility is not going to be out there till after a Discover of Funding Availability is revealed later this 12 months within the Federal Register. However there’s something farmers can do proper now to be higher ready for the signup, in the event that they qualify for a better fee limitation.

The fee limitation for this system is about by legislation and is increased if the farmer’s common adjusted gross farm revenue (revenue from actions associated to farming, ranching, or forestry) is greater than 75% of their common adjusted gross revenue (AGI). Particularly, an individual or authorized entity with adjusted gross farm revenue of lower than 75% of their general AGI, can’t obtain, straight or not directly, greater than $125,000 in funds. AGI relies on the three taxable years previous essentially the most instantly previous full tax 12 months. Farmers with 75% or extra AGI from farming qualify for a $250,000 fee restrict.

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Rice farmers might go to their native county workplace to submit the suitable type and certification, in the event that they qualify for and wish to search the upper fee restrict and get a part of the paperwork finished early. Farmers will nonetheless have an opportunity to fill out the AGI type throughout signup as nicely. The shape needs to be crammed out for the 2022 crop 12 months.