MINBURN, IOWA — Through funding from the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has implemented the Emergency Livestock Relief Program (ELRP) and the Emergency Relief Program (ERP), both of which have already begun to benefit producers.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that, to date, agricultural producers have received $4 billion in ERP payments, 67% of the over $6 billion projected to be paid through the program’s first phase. Additionally, eligible livestock producers have received ELRP payments totaling more than $590 million since the program launched in late March.

“We recognize the financial recovery need is great and worked deliberately to create a program delivery process that would ensure quick payments to producers,” Vilsack said. “I am extremely proud to share that the strategically streamlined ERP application and program implementation process have yielded the desired results – reduced burdens on and expedited payments to approximately 120,000 disaster-impacted agricultural producers, to date.”

The Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act, approved by the Biden administration in 2021, provides $10 billion to help agricultural producers impacted by wildfires, droughts, hurricanes, winter storms and other eligible disasters experienced during calendar years 2020 and 2021, of which $750 million is allocated to livestock producers.

ERP and ELRP will occur in two phases, with the first phase utilizing existing claim data from the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program to provide relief expediently, and the second phase focusing on ensuring producers not covered by other programs receive assistance.

In May, the USDA sent pre-filled applications producers with crop insurance who experienced loss due to natural disasters in 2020 and 2021. Commodity and specialty crop producers have until July 22 to their applications.