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Progress on 2014 Farm Bill Implementation

USDA's farm bill implementation team is composed of key sub-cabinet officials and experts from every mission area of the Department. Through outreach and listening sessions we are sharing information and hearing from stakeholders. Announcements on new agriculture research partnerships, conservation and nutrition programs, and other Farm Bill provisions will be made in the coming weeks and months.

To date, we've made important progress on every title of the Farm Bill including updates to risk management tools, modifications to farm loan programs, announcements regarding available funds for agricultural research, disaster relief to farmers and ranchers and much more. Information on progress and accomplishments is provided below.

Farm Bill Implementation Updates:


TITLE I - Commodity Programs

Agricultural Risk Coverage Program and Price Loss Coverage Program:

Cotton Transition Payments:

Dairy Forward Pricing Program:

Extension of Programs:

Loan Rates:

Margin Protection Program:

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program:

Supplemental Agriculture Disaster Assistance:

TITLE II - Conservation

Conservation Programs:

TITLE III - Trade

Emerging Markets Program (EMP):

  • April 17, 2014: FAS publishes a Notice of Funding Availability for EMP, with $10 million available in 2014. EMP applications are reviewed on a rolling basis during the fiscal year. Applications received after May 19, 2014, will be considered for funding if funding remains available.

Foreign Market Development Cooperator Program (FMD) and Market Access Program (MAP):

Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC):

U.S. Atlantic Spiny Dogfish Study:

  • May 5, 2014: USDA submits report to Congress on the existing market in the U.S. for the U.S. Atlantic Spiny Dogfish.
TITLE IV - Nutrition Programs

Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive:

Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP):

Community Food Projects:

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Pilot

  • April 7, 2014: FNS announces an RFP for this pilot program, which will take place during the 2014-2015 school year.

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Payments:

Multiagency Taskforce on Commodity Programs:

  • April 24, 2014: FNCS signs a memorandum appointing members to the multi-agency taskforce to provide coordination and direction for commodity programs.
  • March 14, 2014: The Under Secretary of Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services issues memorandum to solicit names for a multiagency task force to provide coordination and direction for commodity programs.

Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables

SNAP-related Provisions:

TITLE V - Credit

Farm Loan Programs/Direct Farm Ownership:

  • February 7, 2014: FSA implements changes in the interest rate on Direct Farm Ownership loans that are made in conjunction with other lenders.

Microloans:

Modifications to Farm Loan Programs:

TITLE VI - Rural Development

Biodiesel Fuel Education Program:

  • May 5, 2014: REE announces availability of $960,000 for grants to educate consumers about the benefits of biodiesel fuel use.

Bioenergy:

BioPreferred:

Broadband:

Business and Industry Loan Guarantee:

Definition of Rural Housing:

  • May 5, 2014: Rural Development publishes maps identifying which rural areas are eligible for housing programs.
  • March 13, 2014: Rural Development issues guidance to State Directors, field staff and stakeholders on implementing new eligibility requirements regarding the definition of rural housing.

Rural Business Enterprise Grants/Rural Business Opportunity Grants:

Rural Cooperative Development Grants:

Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program

Value Added Producer Grants (VAPG):

Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program:

  • April 22, 2014: USDA announces 116 project awards through this program. The total award of nearly $387 million included $150 million in grants supported by the Farm Bill.
TITLE VII - Research and Related Matters

Agricultural and Food Policy Research Centers:

  • April 15, 2014: USDA announces awards for the four research centers, totaling almost $4 million.

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP):

  • April 11, 2014: USDA publishes press release announcing the availability of more than $19 million in grants to help train, educate and enhance the sustainability of the next generation of agricultural producers through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). Applications are due June 12, 2014.

Bioenergy Research:

Budget Submission and Funding:

  • March 10, 2014: REE submits its first Budget Submission and Funding report to Congress.

Citrus Disease Research:

Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (FFAR):

Miscellaneous:

Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative:

Specialty Crop Research Initiative:

TITLE VIII - Forestry

Insect and Disease Designation:

TITLE IX - Energy

Biomass Crop Assistance Program:

Rural Energy for America Program:

TITLE X - Horticulture

Bulk Shipments of Apples to Canada:

Christmas Tree Research and Promotion Order:

  • April 7, 2014: AMS publishes a notice lifting stay on the Christmas Tree Research and Promotion.

National Clean Plant Network:

Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention:

Specialty Crop Block Grants:

Local Foods Promotion Program/Farmers Market Promotion Program:

TITLE XI - Crop Insurance

APH Yield Exclusion:

Changes to Crop Insurance Provisions to Benefit New Farmers:

Conservation Compliance:

Peanut Producers:

Permanent Enterprise Unit Subsidy:

  • May 1, 2014: RMA completes update to its systems to reflect the permanent enterprise unit subsidy as mandated by the Farm Bill. This will impact crops beginning with the May 20, 2014 actuarial filing and continue through the November 30, 2014 actuarial filing.

Premium Amounts for Catastrophic Risk Protection (CAT):

  • April 3, 2014: RMA issues public release of actuarial documents to revise the premium rates charged for CAT coverage to be based on the average historical "loss ratio" plus a reasonable reserve.

Prohibition of CAT on Crops Used for Grazing:

  • April 15, 2014: RMA issues guidance document to amend the Special Provisions of Insurance for the annual forage policy. This amendment sets forth the prohibition of CAT coverage on crops and grasses used for grazing.

Publication of Information on Violations of Premium Adjustments:

  • March 27, 2014: RMA establishes section entitled "Rebating Violations and Sanctions" in the Frequently Asked Questions section of its public website. RMA will add information to this section when it determines that rebating violations have occurred.

Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX):

Supplemental Coverage Option:

Whole-Farm Revenue Protection:

TITLE XII - Miscellaneous

2501 Program:

Catfish Inspection:

  • April 30, 2014: FSIS and FDA signs an MOU to improve food safety, fraud prevention, and inspection of catfish and catfish products. FSIS continues to submit monthly reports to Congress on implementation of this provision from the Farm Bill.
  • March 14, 2014: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) submits the first status report to Congress on the development of the final rule establishing a catfish inspection program.

Military Veteran Liaison:

Pima Cotton: