December 31 Deadline for USDA Loan Assistance Applications

Sabrina Halvorson Agri-Business, Funding

The deadline is fast approaching for farmers who have done everything they can and simply remain behind on their loans and want some help. The Inflation Reduction Act provided $3.1 billion for USDA to provide relief for distressed borrowers with certain Farm Service Agency (FSA) direct and guaranteed loans and to expedite assistance for those whose agricultural operations are at financial risk.

But USDA Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small warns the deadline is in less than two weeks.

“Recently we put out one-point-eight billion dollars in loan assistance and those have been automatic assistance that credits to their account, but now we’re working to provide assistance for folks who did everything they could to pay off those loans,” she said. “There’s a due date that’s coming up on December 31st. So, folks can apply to let us know if they did take out those extraordinary measures or if they’re worried about being able to pay off their loan this year and have cash flow issues.”

USDA Farm Service Agency Administrator Zach Ducheneaux explains there are two types of assistance in the program.

“In the cash flow-based assistance, the producers will fill out an application that just demonstrates that they won’t have sufficient money available from this year’s production and off-farm income to make their payments. And then we can provide that next installment to them to help them get to what’s next,” he said. “In the extraordinary measures-based part of the program, producers can quantify the amount of extraordinary measures they took, and we can offer them a payment to replace that. So, if you had to borrow money from your family, for instance, or if you had to sell assets, we want to make sure that you’re whole and able to take part in what’s next.”

Again, the deadline to apply for either is December 31. For more information visit the USDA Farm Service Agency website at

Sabrina Halvorson
National Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.

Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She primarily reports on legislative issues and hosts The AgNet Weekly podcast. Sabrina is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.