Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Programs; Correction
The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) is correcting a final rule that was published in the Federal Register on September 3, 2019, which revised the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) Programs. That document inadvertently failed to include the relevant counties in Nebraska that have been established as having a history of double-cropping covered commodities or peanuts with fruits, vegetables, or wild rice and incorrectly listed the previous Regulation Identifier Number (RIN).
Notice of Availability of the Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment for the Farm Service Agency's Conservation Reserve Program
FSA, acting on behalf of the CCC, announces the availability for review and comment the draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) assessing the alternatives to and anticipated environmental impacts of potential changes from the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) to the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). The intent of this notice is to make the draft PEA available for review and request comments by the public, other agencies, and Tribes on the proposed alternatives and their potential impacts to the human environment. The feedback we receive from this notice will be incorporated into the final PEA, as appropriate, prior to FSA's decision.
Agricultural Disaster Indemnity Programs
This rule establishes provisions for providing agricultural disaster assistance as authorized by the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act, 2019 (Disaster Relief Act). The Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) will provide payments to eligible producers who suffered eligible crop, tree, bush, and vine losses resulting from hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, typhoons, volcanic activity, snowstorms, and wildfires that occurred in the 2018 and 2019 calendar years. The On-Farm Storage Loss Program will provide payments to eligible producers who suffered uncompensated losses of harvested commodities stored in farm structures as a result of hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, typhoons, volcanic activity, snowstorms, and wildfires that occurred in the 2018 and 2019 calendar years. The Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program (WHIP) Milk Loss Program will provide payments to eligible dairy operations for milk that was dumped or removed without compensation from the commercial milk market due to hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, typhoons, volcanic activity, snowstorms, and wildfires that occurred in the 2018 and 2019 calendar years. This rule specifies the administrative provisions, eligibility requirements, application procedures, and payment calculations for WHIP+, On-Farm Storage Loss Program, and WHIP Milk Loss Program. As required by the Disaster Relief Act, this rule also expands eligibility for 2017 WHIP to include losses incurred from Tropical Storm Cindy, losses of peach and blueberry crops in calendar year 2017 due to extreme cold, and blueberry productivity losses in calendar year 2018 due to extreme cold and hurricane damage in calendar year 2017. This rule updates the regulations for the Tree Assistance Program (TAP) to provide assistance for eligible orchardists or nursery tree growers of pecan trees with a tree mortality rate that exceeds 7.5 percent (adjusted for normal mortality) and is less than 15 percent (adjusted for normal mortality) for losses incurred in calendar year 2018. Prevented planting supplemental disaster payments will provide support to producers who were prevented from planting eligible crops for the 2019 crop year due to excess precipitation, flood, storm surge, tornado, volcanic activity, tropical depressions, hurricanes, and cyclones in the 2019 calendar year. This rule specifies the administrative provisions, eligibility requirements, and payment calculations for prevented planting supplemental disaster payments.
Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Programs
This rule implements the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) Programs authorized by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill), as amended. The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) amended 2014 Farm Bill provisions regarding ARC and PLC, and authorized the ARC and PLC Programs for the 2019 through 2023 program years. The ARC and PLC Programs are continuing, with some changes. This rule also includes conforming changes to Farm Service Agency (FSA) general regulations that apply to multiple programs. The ARC and PLC Programs provide producers a choice between a counter-cyclical payment support type program (PLC) and an income support program (ARC). In a defined election and enrollment period, producers can elect different programs for different covered commodities on a farm, for example, choosing PLC for corn and ARC for soybeans on the same farm. There is also an option to elect ARC individual coverage (ARC-IC); however, if that option is elected, all the farm's covered commodities are elected with that option. This rule specifies the eligibility requirements, enrollment procedures, and payment calculations for the ARC and PLC Programs.
Food for Progress Program
The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) is amending the regulations governing the Food for Progress Program to include colleges and universities among the entities eligible for awards under the program, and to make other minor changes. The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 added colleges and universities to the list of eligible entities in the Food for Progress Act of 1985. This amendment implements the statutory change to expand the types of entities that can receive awards under the program, and it makes other technical changes to update the regulations.
Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA); Market Facilitation Program (MFP) Payments to Producers
MFP provides payments to producers with commodities that have been impacted by trade actions of foreign governments resulting in the loss of exports. This NOFA announces the availability of MFP funds for eligible producers of specified agricultural commodities for 2019 that include certain non-specialty crops, specialty crops, dairy, and livestock as specified in this NOFA. On behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), the Farm Service Agency (FSA) will administer MFP. MFP dairy and livestock payments will be calculated on the eligible production amount multiplied by the participant's share in the commodity multiplied by the MFP payment rate. MFP participants of non- specialty and specialty crops will receive an MFP payment based upon the participant's ownership interest in the 2019 crop that was planted and reported to FSA for the 2019 crop year, including cover crops that are planted for harvest following a prevented planted non-specialty crop. The payment rate used by CCC to issue payments for non-specialty crops will be on a county-by-county basis and reflects the amount of damage incurred in a county by producers of the non-specialty crops from the imposition of tariffs by other countries on U.S. agricultural products. The payment rate for specialty crops will be on a state-by- state basis if sufficient data is available, otherwise payments will be on a national basis. This NOFA also announces the availability of 2018 MFP payments for a limited number of producers who are now eligible for assistance as the result of a provision of the Additional Supplemental Appropriations For Disaster Relief Act, 2019 (2019 Disaster Relief Act).
Trade Mitigation Program
The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) is revising the regulations to implement a Trade Mitigation Program (TMP) for producers of 2019 agricultural commodities that have been significantly impacted by trade actions of foreign governments resulting in the loss of exports. As part of TMP, the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) regulation specifies the eligibility requirements, payment calculations, and application procedures. The details for specific commodities and the relevant application start dates will be announced in applicable notices of funds availability (NOFAs). As part of TMP, the Expanded Domestic Commodity Donation Program (EDCDP) regulation specifies disposition of surplus commodities through outlets not currently used in existing Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) programs, the application process, eligibility, and use of grants or cooperative agreements. The details for specific commodities and conditions will be announced in applicable notices of commodity availability (NOCAs). This rule adds new subparts to the TMP regulation to address the 2019 agricultural commodities.
Delivery and Shipping Standards for Cotton Warehouses
This rule amends the regulations that specify the storage and handling of cotton at warehouses approved by the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). The amendment modifies the weekly accounting and reporting for cotton bales made available for shipment to assure compliance with CCC requirements. This rule also revises the regulations to reflect transfer of administrative oversight of warehouse programs and activities from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).
Dairy Margin Coverage Program and Dairy Indemnity Payment Program
This final rule implements the requirements of the dairy programs administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). The Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) Program, as authorized by the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill), replaces the Margin Protection Program (MPP-Dairy) for dairy producers and retains much of the structure of MPP-Dairy. DMC is a margin-based support program for dairy producers that provides risk management coverage that will pay producers when the difference between the national price of milk and the national estimated cost of feed (the margin) falls below a certain level. The rule also extends the Dairy Indemnity Payment Program (DIPP) through 2023 and amends the regulations to incorporate a specific period of time for which claims for the same loss will be eligible for indemnification under DIPP.
Export Credit Guarantee (GSM-102) Program and Facility Guarantee Program (FGP) Certifications
This final rule modifies the certifications required to qualify to participate in the Export Credit Guarantee (GSM-102) Program and the Facility Guarantee Program (FGP) to make them consistent with Government-wide debarment and suspension guidelines and U.S. Department of Agriculture requirements. Specifically, CCC is eliminating the requirement for participants to make certain certifications with respect to affiliates.
Notice of Request for an Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Commodity Credit Corporation's (CCC) intention to request an extension for a currently approved information collection in support of the CCC Facility Guarantee Program (FGP).
Notice of Funding Opportunity: Inviting Applications for the Foreign Market Development Cooperator Program
The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) announces that it is inviting proposals for the 2020 Foreign Market Development Cooperator (Cooperator) program. The Cooperator program is administered by personnel of the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) on behalf of CCC. The intended effect of this notice is to solicit applications from eligible applicants for fiscal year 2020 and to set out criteria for the awarding of funds under the program.
Notice of Funding Opportunity: Inviting Applications for the Market Access Program
The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) announces that it is inviting applications for the 2020 Market Access Program (MAP). The MAP is administered by personnel of the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) on behalf of CCC. The intended effect of this notice is to solicit proposals from eligible applicants for fiscal year 2020 and to set out the criteria for the awarding of funds under the program.
Miscellaneous Conservation Provisions
The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (the 2018 Farm Bill) made several minor changes to certain of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) conservation programs and related requirements. The conservation programs and related requirements include the administration of the State Technical Committee, the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act Program, the Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP), the Technical Service Provider (TSP) Assistance provisions, and the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP). This rule makes changes to the existing regulations for the conservation programs that are consistent with the changes made by the 2018 Farm Bill.
Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) for the Organic Certification Cost Share Program
The Farm Service Agency (FSA), on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), is announcing the availability of funding under the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) for eligible certified organic producers and handlers. FSA is also announcing the opportunity for State Agencies to apply for grant agreements to administer the OCCSP program in fiscal year (FY) 2019. State Agencies that establish agreements for FY 2019 may be given the opportunity to extend their agreements and receive additional funds to administer the program in future years. Through this notice, FSA is providing the requirements for producers and handlers to apply for OCCSP payments, and for State Agencies to establish agreements to receive funds in order to provide cost share assistance to eligible producers and handlers.
Delivery and Shipping Standards for Cotton Warehouses
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) proposes to amend the regulations that specify the requirements for CCC-approved warehouses storing and handling cotton. The amendment would change how warehouse operators account for bales made available for shipment (BMAS) and how CCC determines BMAS compliance. The current regulation allows bales that are made available for shipment by the warehouse operator but not picked up (BNPU) by the shipper to count for up to two reporting weeks when calculating and reporting BMAS for the reporting week. This amendment proposes to limit BNPU to be counted for one week, with BMAS to include only bales actually shipped or not picked up for that reporting week. CCC also proposes to allow two additional options for the warehouse operator to meet the 4.5% cotton flow requirement by averaging either the BMAS for the reporting week and the week prior to the reporting week, or by averaging the BMAS for the reporting week and the week after the reporting week. In addition, CCC proposes to amend the regulations to reflect the transfer of warehouse programs and activities from USDA's Farm Service Agency to AMS in 2018.
Office of The Secretary; Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records
This notice proposes to revise to the Privacy Act System of Records titled Farm Records File (Automated) USDA, which includes information for certain Farm Service Agency under (FSA) Farm Programs and certain Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) programs that are administered by FSA on behalf of CCC. The records include information about the majority of agricultural producers in the United States. In general, USDA is modifying the system of records to add three new routine uses and make updates to one routine use to comply with recent requirements.
Office of the Secretary; Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records
As required by the Privacy Act of 1974, and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular No. A-108, this notice proposes that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA or Department) revisions to the Privacy Act System of Records titled Applicant/ Borrower USDA/FSA-14, which include information on current, former, and prospective applicants and borrowers including members of entities. The system contains information on agricultural producers in the United States requesting or obtaining the Farm Service Agency (FSA) Farm Loan Programs benefits. In general, USDA proposes to revise the system of records to make minor corrections and updates to meet additional requirements. USDA is also revising the system of records to add 10 new routine uses.
Notice of Request for Revision of Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Commodity Credit Corporation's (CCC) intention to request a revision from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for a currently approved information collection process in support of the Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program and the Market Access Program (MAP).