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USDA to Disburse $208 Million to Distressed Farmers

12/02/2023

An allocation of $3.1 billion in assistance for distressed farm loans will be derived from the Inflation Reduction Act.  Since this legislation was enacted in August 2022 the Farm Service Agency has distributed $1.7 billion in assistance to more than 30,000 distressed borrowers.

 

The latest tranche announced on November 30th will include $80 million for 210 delinquent borrowers flagged for liquidation. In addition 1,120 borrowers will receive $128 million as  direct emergency loans.

 

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack stated, “At USDA we are working hard every day to keep farmers on their farms.  With the Inflation Reduction Act we began charting a different course than the one taken during the farm financial crisis in 1980’s.

 

Providing delinquent borrowers with additional funding may save some farms but the underlying problems that created financial distress must be addressed and resolved otherwise public funds will be spent in simply prolonging inevitable failure.  It is understandable that farmers that have been impacted by climatic extremes or events beyond their control should receive assistance over and above insurance.  Simply supporting inefficient farming operations or incompetent farmers or those unable to achieve profitability is not a rational albeit humane strategy. Disbursing public funds to farmers in distress without remedying causes for suboptimal financial performance is fiscally unacceptable.