USDA to Begin Payments to Socially Disadvantaged Borrowers

USDA published its first notice of funding availability (NOFA) announcing loan payments for eligible borrowers with qualifying direct farm loans under the American Rescue Plan Act Section 1005. The official NOFA will be published in the Federal Register and USDA expects payments to begin in early June and continue on a rolling basis. Section 1005 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provides funding and authorization for USDA Farm Service Agency to pay up to 120% of direct and guaranteed loan outstanding balances as of January 1, 2021, for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers as defined in Section 2501(a) of the Food, Agriculture Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990. Qualifying loans under this announcement are certain direct loans under the Farm Loan Programs and Farm Storage Facility Loan Program.