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USDA Rice Production Program, Pre-Filled Applications and Deadline Details

USDA Rice Production Program, Pre-Filled Applications and Deadline Details

USA Rice details newly announced USDA Rice Production Program (RPP). Read below for program information, when to expect pre-filled applications and deadline details on the assistance provided to rice farmers.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced details of the Rice Production Program (RPP), assistance provided to rice farmers who experienced stagnant rice prices and record-high input costs during the 2022 crop year.

Funding for the $250 million rice farmer assistance program was championed by Senator John Boozman (R-AR) and included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, the end of year Federal government spending measure.

“Last year was a difficult one for rice farmers.  Soaring input costs took a toll on family farms across the nation, and, as documented by two separate studies out of Texas A&M University, hit rice producers extremely hard.  That is why we included relief in the form of a one-time payment to rice producers for the 2022 crop year in the omnibus bill last December,” said Boozman. “I am pleased that USDA is moving forward with the implementation of this program as it provides much-needed relief from record-high rice production costs in 2022.  Despite the economic headwinds rice producers worked to ensure consumers continue to have access to healthy, domestically grown food.”

Rice farmers who certified rice planted acres in the 2022 crop year will soon receive a pre-filled application (FSA-174, Rice Production Program Application) by mail from the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), including the farmer’s FSA certified rice acres and either the farmer’s actual production history (APH) yield or an area (county) FSA-determined yield.  For those farmers with rice acres that were prevented from planting, a 60 percent factor will be applied.

Applications should be signed and returned to the farmer’s local FSA office by close of business on Monday, July 10, 2023, and may be submitted in person or by mail, email, or facsimile.

Farmers who reported rice to FSA by the acreage reporting deadline but do not receive a pre-filled application may still apply by visiting their local FSA office and completing the application by the July 10, 2023, deadline.  Farmers who filed late or modified 2022 rice acreage reports will not be eligible for RPP.

“USDA is streamlining the application process for rice producers by mailing a pre-filled application to eligible producers,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.  “This approach will result in significant time savings for both farmers and USDA employees, helping to ensure the swift delivery of program benefits to producers and further our goal of better serving farmers.”

The RPP will offer relief through an initial payment to rice farmers at a reduced payment rate of 1-cent per pound.  Payments should be received by farmers shortly after their applications are received by FSA.  If funds remain at the end of the application period, a second payment, not to exceed 1-cent per pound, will be made at a later date, likely by early fall at the latest.

In addition to the pre-filled applications, producers must also submit the following forms, if not already on file with FSA, within 60 days of the RPP application deadline: AD-2047, CCC-901 (if applicable), CCC-902, and AD-1026.

Additionally, rice farmers should complete the FSA-510 form to apply for the higher payment limitation of $250,000 afforded by the program if they qualify and want to seek the higher payment limit; otherwise, a payment limitation of $125,000 is applicable.

“USA Rice thanks USDA for the work and diligence to efficiently rollout the Rice Production Program, which is so critical to rice farmers who endured a dire situation last year,” said Curtis Berry, a Mississippi rice farmer and USA Rice Farmers chair.  “This program will help to ensure economic viability of not only rice farmers, but the rural communities across the country our industry supports.”

Berry added: “I would also add our sincere and profound appreciation to Senator Boozman who led this charge and advocated strongly for this vital assistance that will have a tremendously positive impact across the rice-producing states.  It’s really going to make a difference for so many rice farmers.”

Additional information on the RPP can be found here.

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