Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced continued progress during the first 90 days of implementing the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill). Progress has occurred throughout all Farm Bill titles including announcements on trade and marketing promotion, the establishment of conservation programs, the initiation of specialty crop and local food programs, funding for rural development programs, and more.
Among the first major farm bill initiatives to be implemented were disaster relief programs for livestock producers, many of whom have been waiting years for assistance. On April 15, USDA announced disaster relief through the Livestock Indemnity Program and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program. After the 2008 Farm Bill passed, it took over one year to set up disaster assistance programs. In 2014, it took under 10 weeks. As of May 1, 2014, approximately 33,000 applications have been received and $16.3 million in payments has been disbursed.
In the coming months, producers will be asked to enroll in one of the new farm bill's risk management programs. USDA is now accepting applications from Land Grant Universities, 1890 Colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions and tribal colleges to create web-based tools that will help provide producers with information on the Agricultural Risk Coverage Program and Price Loss Coverage Program, as well as the larger protection program for dairy and the non-insured crop disaster assistance program.
More announcements on the new agriculture research foundation, educational tools for producers, improvements to conservation programs, and other Farm Bill provisions will continue to be made in the coming weeks and months.
To stay up-to-date on USDA's Farm Bill implementation progress, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.