Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program
This final rule implements two changes in the regulations for the Rural Housing Service (RHS) Section 502 Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP) by eliminating the lender's published Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) rate for first mortgage loans with no discount points as an option for a maximum interest rate on loans and by allowing the Secretary to seek indemnification from the originating lender if a loss is paid under certain circumstances. This action is taken to achieve savings for the taxpayer, simplify regulations, and promote efficiency in managing the SFHGLP.
Final Environmental Assessment and Mitigated Finding of No Significant Impact; Giant Miscanthus in Arkansas, Missouri, Ohio, and Pennsylvania
This notice announces the final environmental assessment (EA) that includes a mitigated finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for the proposed establishment and production of giant miscanthus (Miscanthus X giganteus) as a dedicated energy crop to be grown in the Aloterra Energy and MFA Oil Biomass Company (project sponsors) proposed project areas in Arkansas, Missouri, Ohio, and Pennsylvania as part of the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). Based on comments received on the draft and in consultation with NRCS and ARS, FSA developed and included a finalized mitigation and monitoring plan as a part of the final EA.
Information Collection: Volunteer Programs
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) is seeking comments from all interested individuals and organizations on an extension of a currently approved information collection associated with the Volunteer Programs.
Agriculture Priorities and Allocations System
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is establishing the regulation for the Agriculture Priorities and Allocations System (APAS). Food is a critical commodity essential to the national defense (including civil emergency preparedness and response). To avoid civilian hardship during national defense emergencies it may be necessary to regulate the production, processing, storage, and wholesale distribution of food. Through the APAS rule, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will respond to requests to place priority ratings on contracts, or orders of agriculture commodities up through the wholesale levels for agriculture production and equipment, allocate resources, and handle food claims as specified in the Defense Production Act (DPA) of 1950, as amended, if the necessity arises. FSA needs to implement this rule to direct the agriculture commodities and resources to areas of hardship or potential hardship due to national emergencies. For example, APAS is designed to use the DPA authority to help ensure that food is available when and where it is needed most, such as after a hurricane or earthquake. In most cases, there is likely to be no economic impact in filling priority orders because it would generally just be changing the timing in which orders are completed.
Funding for the Conservation Loan Program; Farm Loan Programs
This notice announces that the Farm Service Agency (FSA) is no longer accepting direct or guaranteed loan applications for the Conservation Loan (CL) Program because of lack of program funding.