As a means of helping agricultural producers cope with natural disasters in 2020 and 2021, Congress included emergency relief funding in the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act (P.L. 117-43). A minimum of 750 million dollars will be allocated to livestock producers impacted by droughts and wildfires.

In the past two years, the USDA has worked diligently to develop programs, policies, and provisions that will equitably distribute these much-needed payments to producers hard-hit by catastrophes. As program details become available, USDA will keep producers and stakeholders informed through proactive communication and outreach.

There will be two phases of distribution: Emergency Livestock Relief Program (ELRP) and Emergency Relief Program (ERP).

Emergency Livestock Relief Program (ELRP) – Phase 1

In the first phase of the ELRP program, producers will be compensated for the cost of supplemental feed as a result of forage losses in calendar year 2021 due to droughts or wildfires, using the data already submitted to FSA through the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP).

ELRP Phase 1 only includes 2021 LFP participants.

Livestock producers who have losses due to drought are eligible for assistance if:

  • Any area within the county in which the loss occurred was rated by the U.S. Drought Monitor as having a D2 (severe drought) for eight consecutive weeks, or a D3 (extreme drought) or higher level of drought intensity during the applicable year.
  • Producers whose permitted grazing on federally managed lands was disallowed due to wildfire are also eligible for ELRP payments.

All grazing animals that meet their majority of nutritional needs by grazing forage grasses or legumes are eligible, including alpacas, beef cattle, buffalo/ bison, beefalo, dairy cattle, deer, elk, emus, equine, goats, llamas, reindeer, and sheep.

How to Apply

For ELRP Phase 1, eligible livestock producers are not required to submit an application for ELRP phase 1; however, they must have the following forms on file determined by FSA’s Deputy Administrator for Farm Programs:

  • CCC-853, Livestock Forage Disaster Program Application
  • Form AD-2047, Customer Data Worksheet;
  • Form CCC-902, Farm Operating Plan for an individual or legal entity as provided in 7 CFR part 1400;
  • Form CCC-901, Member Information for Legal Entities (if applicable); and
  • Form AD-1026 Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC)
  • Certification for the ELRP producer and applicable affiliates.

Payments

Payments under Phase 1 of the ELRP will be calculated by multiplying an eligible livestock producer’s gross LFP payment for 2021 by the applicable ELRP payment factor.

The ELRP payment factor will be 90 percent for beginning, limited resource, socially disadvantaged, and veteran farmers and ranchers, and 75 percent for all other producers.

Form CCC-860, Socially Disadvantaged, Limited Resource, Beginning and Veteran Farmer or Rancher Certification, must be on file with FSA with a certification applicable for the 2021 program year to receive a payment based on the higher payment factor.
Payment Limitation and Adjusted Gross Income

Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) limitations do not apply to ELRP, however the payment limitation for ELRP is determined by the person’s or legal entity’s average adjusted gross farm income (income derived from farming, ranching, and forestry operations). Specifically, a person or legal entity, other than a joint venture or general partnership, cannot receive, directly or indirectly, more than $125,000 in payments under ELRP if their average adjusted gross farm income is less than 75 percent of their average AGI for tax years 2017, 2018, and 2019.

If at least 75 percent of the person or legal entity’s average AGI is derived from farming, ranching, or forestry related activities and the participant provides the required certification and documentation, as discussed below, the person or legal entity, other than a joint venture or general partnership, is eligible to receive, directly or indirectly, up to $250,000 in ELRP payments. To request the increased payment limitation, participants must file form FSA-510 complete with participant’s certification their average adjusted gross farm income is at least 75 percent of their average AGI and a certification from a Licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Attorney that the participant meets the requirements.

Attribution of payments apply to ELRP and payments to a legal entity are tracked through four levels of ownership, attributed, and limited to persons or legal entities that hold an ownership interest in the legal entity. For more information, see the Direct Attribution information on the Payment Limitations webpage.

Emergency Livestock Relief Program (ELRP) – Phase 2

In order to ensure that much-needed emergency relief program benefits are distributed evenly and equally, the FSA will continue evaluating and identifying the impacts of 2021 drought and wildfire on livestock producers.

All ELRP information and resources will be updated as Phase 2 policies and provisions are available.

Emergency Relief Program (ERP) – Phase 1

The first phase of ERP assistance will provide payments to producers who were impacted by wildfires, droughts, hurricanes, winter storms, and other eligible disasters experienced during the calendar years 2020 and 2021 using the existing Federal Crop Insurance or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) data already submitted to FSA.

Fact Sheet

Who is Eligible?

For ERP eligibility, “related conditions” are damaging weather and adverse natural occurrences that occurred concurrently with and as a direct result of a specified qualifying disaster event. They include:

As part of ERP eligibility, “related conditions” are weather events and adverse natural occurrences that occurred concurrently with or directly resulting from a qualifying disaster event. They include:

  • Excessive wind that occurred as a direct result of a derecho;
  • Silt and debris that occurred as a direct result of flooding;
  • Excessive wind, storm surges, tornados, tropical storms, and tropical depressions that occurred as a direct result of a hurricane; and
  • Excessive wind and blizzards that occurred as a direct result of a winter storm.

For drought, ERP assistance is available if any area within the county in which the loss occurred was rated by the U.S. Drought Monitor as having a D2 (severe drought) for eight consecutive weeks or D3 (extreme drought) or a higher level of drought intensity.

2020 drought counties eligible for ERP
2021 drought counties eligible for ERP

How to Apply

For ERP Phase 1, FSA will send pre-filled application forms to producers whose crop insurance and NAP data are already on file because they received a crop insurance indemnity or NAP payment. This form includes eligibility requirements, outlines the application process, and provides ERP payment information. Producers will receive a separate application form for each program year. Receipt of a pre-filled application is not confirmation that a producer is eligible to receive an ERP Phase 1 payment.

Producers must also have the following forms on file determined by FSA’s Deputy Administrator for Farm Programs:

  • Form AD-2047, Customer Data Worksheet;
  • Form CCC-902, Farm Operating Plan for an individual or legal entity;
  • Form CCC-901, Member Information for Legal Entities (if applicable); and
  • Form AD-1026 Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC)
  • Certification for the ELRP producer and applicable affiliates

Most producers, especially those who have previously participated in FSA programs will likely have these required forms on file. However, those who are uncertain or want to confirm should contact their local FSA county office.

In addition to the forms listed above, certain producers will also need to submit the following forms to qualify for an increased payment rate or payment limitation.

  • Form CCC-860, Socially Disadvantaged, Limited Resource, Beginning and Veteran Farmer or Rancher Certification, if applicable, for the 2021 program year.
  • Form FSA-510, Request for an Exception to the $125,000 Payment Limitation for Certain Programs (if applicable).

In addition to the forms listed above, certain producers will also need to submit the following forms to qualify for an increased payment rate or payment limitation.

  • Form CCC-860, Socially Disadvantaged, Limited Resource, Beginning and Veteran Farmer or Rancher Certification, if applicable, for the 2021 program year.
  • Form FSA-510, Request for an Exception to the $125,000 Payment Limitation for Certain Programs (if applicable).

Payments

For crops covered by crop insurance, the ERP Phase 1 payment calculation for a crop and unit will depend on the type and level of coverage obtained by the producer. Based on the producer’s level of crop insurance or NAP coverage, each calculation uses the following ERP factor.

Crop Insurance – the ERP factor is 75% to 95% depending on the level of coverage ranging from catastrophic to at least 80% coverage.
NAP – the ERP factor is 75% to 95% depending on the level of coverage ranging from catastrophic to 65% coverage. FSA will perform a conventional NAP payment calculation with an adjusted guarantee equal to the ERP Factor.

ERP factors tables can be found on the ERP Fact Sheet.

FSA will mail application forms for policyholders with 2021 crop year coverage under Stacked Income Protection (STAX), Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO), Enhanced Coverage Option (ECO), Margin Protection (MP), and Area Risk Protection Insurance (ARPI) when data becomes available.

Payment Limitation and Adjusted Gross Income

The payment limitation for ERP Phase 1 is determined by the person’s or legal entity’s average adjusted gross farm income (income from activities related to farming, ranching, or forestry).

Specifically, a person or legal entity, other than a joint venture or general partnership, cannot receive, directly or indirectly, more than $125,000 in payments for specialty and high-value crops and $125,000 in payment for all other crops under ERP (for Phase 1 and Phase 2 combined) for a program year if their average adjusted gross (AGI) farm income is less than 75 percent of their average AGI the three taxable years preceding the most immediately preceding complete tax year.

If at least 75 percent of the person or legal entity’s average AGI is derived from farming, ranching, or forestry-related activities and the participant provides the required certification and documentation, as discussed below, the person or legal entity, other than a joint venture or general partnership, is eligible to receive, directly or indirectly, up to:

  • $900,000 for each program year for specialty crops; and
  • $250,000 for each program year for all other crops.

The relevant tax years for establishing a producer’s AGI and percentage derived from farming, ranching, and forestry-related activities are:

  • 2016, 2017, and 2018 for program year 2020;
  • 2017, 2018, and 2019 for program year 2021; and
  • 2018, 2019, and 2020 for program year 2022.

To request the increased payment limitation, participants must file form FSA-510 complete with the participant’s certification their average adjusted gross farm income is at least 75 percent of their average AGI and certification from a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Attorney that the participant meets the requirements. To learn more, visit the Payment Eligibility and Payment Limitations fact sheet.

The Requirement to Purchase Crop Insurance or NAP Coverage

Producers who receive ERP Phase 1 payments must purchase crop insurance, or NAP coverage if crop insurance is not available, in the next two crop years to be determined by the Secretary. Purchased coverage must be at 60/100 level of coverage or higher for insured crops, or at the catastrophic coverage level or higher for NAP crops.

 

Emergency Relief Program (ERP) – Phase 2

Updates will be made once program details are finalized.

All ELRP information and resources will be updated as Phase 2 policies and provisions are available.