Announcement of Future Competitive Grant Funds Availability for Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) for Fiscal Year 2020
The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and the Rural Business- Cooperative Service (RBCS), a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), intend to announce in a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) the availability of up to $100 million in competitive grants to eligible entities for activities designed to expand the sales and use of renewable fuels under the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). The purpose of this notice is to alert prospective participants and stakeholders of the Agencies' intentions to jointly publish a NOFA by mid-spring which will provide specific program information and requirements.
Supplemental Agricultural Disaster Assistance Programs
The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) amends the Agricultural Act of 2014 to make changes to the Supplemental Agricultural Disaster Assistance Programs, which include the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP), and the Tree Assistance Program (TAP). The rule includes changes required by the 2018 Farm Bill, as well as discretionary changes intended improve administration of the programs and clarify existing program requirements.
Regional Conservation Partnership Program
This interim rule with request for public comment adds a new part to our regulations to implement the Regioinal Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). RCPP enhances conservation and promotes coordination between NRCS and its partners to help producers and landowners increase the restoration and sustainable use of soil, water, and wildlife on a regional or watershed scale. NRCS, an agency of the USDA, administers RCPP, which is funded through CCC. RCCP is reauthorized by the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the 2018 Farm Bill), which streamlined RCPP administration, including elimination of ``covered program'' financial transfers and replacement of covered program contracts with RCPP contracts and programmatic partnership agreements. Section 2504 of the 2018 Farm Bill authorizes NRCS to implement RCPP through an Availability of Program Funding (APF) announcement in FY 2019 without issuing a regulation. This interim administration authority expired September 30, 2019, and section 1271E(e) of the RCPP statute, as amended, requires NRCS to administer RCPP through a regulation going forward. Therefore, NRCS is publishing this interim rule to incorporate the 2018 Farm Bill changes to RCPP program administration.
Pima Agriculture Cotton Trust Fund and Agriculture Wool Apparel Manufacturers Trust Fund
This final rule makes amendments to regulations for the Pima Agriculture Cotton Trust Fund (Agriculture Pima Trust Fund) and the Agriculture Wool Apparel Manufacturers Trust Fund (Wool Trust Fund) programs. This final rule makes minor changes to the Department of Agriculture's administration of the Wool Trust Fund, required by section 12603 of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. Statutory changes were made with respect to two of the four types of payments available under the Wool Trust Fund, the Refund of Duties Paid on Imports of Certain Wool Products (Wool Duty Refund program) and the Payments to Manufacturers of Certain Worsted Wool Fabrics (Wool Grant program). In addition, new regulatory language is required to update the payment expiration calendar year and for submission of affidavits that apply to all four payments made available under the Wool Trust Fund. This final rule also makes minor changes to the Department of Agriculture's administration of the Agriculture Pima Trust Fund per section 12602 of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. New regulatory language is required for updating the payment expiration calendar year and to include information in the required affidavit of yarn spinners.