Applying for Farm Storage Facility Loans

The Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) program provides low-interest financing to help you build or upgrade storage facilities and to purchase portable (new or used) structures, equipment and storage and handling trucks.

Eligible commodities include corn, grain sorghum, rice, soybeans, oats, peanuts, wheat, barley, minor oilseeds harvested as whole grain, pulse crops (lentils, chickpeas and dry peas), hay, honey, renewable biomass, fruits, nuts and vegetables for cold storage facilities, floriculture, hops, maple sap, rye, milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, meat and poultry (unprocessed), eggs, and aquaculture (excluding systems that maintain live animals through uptake and discharge of water).

Qualified facilities include grain bins, hay barns and cold storage facilities for eligible commodities.

Loans up to $50,000 can be secured by a promissory note/security agreement, loans between $50,000 and $100,000 may require additional security, and loans exceeding $100,000 require additional security.

You do not need to demonstrate the lack of commercial credit availability to apply. The loans are designed to assist a diverse range of farming operations, including small and mid-sized businesses, new farmers, operations supplying local food and farmers markets, non-traditional farm products, and underserved producers.

For more information, contact your local USDA Service Center or visit fsa.usda.gov/pricesupport.

Is the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program Right for You?

Farmers and ranchers rely on crop insurance to protect themselves from disasters and unforeseen events, but not all crops are insurable through the USDA’s Risk Management Agency. The Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) provides producers another option to obtain coverage against disaster for these crops. NAP provides financial assistance to producers of non-insured crops impacted by natural disasters that result in lower yields, crop losses, or prevents crop planting.
Commercially produced crops and agricultural commodities for which crop insurance is not available are generally eligible for NAP. Eligible crops include those grown specifically for food, fiber, livestock consumption, biofuel or biobased products, or be commodities such as value loss crops like Christmas trees and ornamental nursery, honey, maple sap, and many others. Contact your FSA office to see which crops are eligible in your state and county.
Eligible causes of loss include drought, freeze, hail, excessive moisture, excessive wind or hurricanes, earthquake, flood. These events must occur during the NAP policy coverage period, before or during harvest, and the disaster must directly affect the eligible crop. For guidance on causes of loss not listed, contact your local FSA county office.
Interested producers must apply for coverage using FSA form CCC-471, “Application for Coverage,” and pay the applicable service fee at the FSA office where their farm records are maintained. These must be filed by the application closing date. Closing dates vary by crop, so it is important to contact your local FSA office as soon as possible to ensure you don’t miss an application closing date.
At the time of application, each producer will be provided a copy of the NAP Basic Provisions, which describes how NAP works and all the requirements you must follow to maintain NAP coverage. NAP participants must provide accurate annual reports of their production in non-loss years to ensure their NAP coverage is beneficial to their individual operation.
Producers are required to pay service fees which vary depending on the number of crops and number of counties your operation is located in. The NAP service fee is the lesser of $325 per crop or $825 per producer per administrative county, not to exceed a total of $1,950 for a producer with farming interests in multiple counties. Premiums also apply when producers elect higher levels of coverage with a maximum premium of $15,750 per person or legal entity depending on the maximum payment
limitation that may apply to the NAP covered producer. The service fee can be waived for beginning, qualifying veteran, and limited resource farmers and rancher., These farmers and ranchers can also receive a 50 percent reduction in the premium.
For more detailed information on NAP, download the NAP Fact Sheet. To get started with NAP, we recommend you contact your local USDA service center.

USDA Previews Crop and Revenue Loss Assistance for Agricultural Producers  

New Programs Will Provide Additional Pandemic and Natural Disaster Assistance for 2020 and 2021; Deadline Announced for Previous Emergency Relief

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2022 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced plans for additional emergency relief and pandemic assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA is preparing to roll out the Emergency Relief Program (ERP) Phase Two as well as the new Pandemic Assistance Revenue Program (PARP), which are two programs to help offset crop and revenue losses for producers.  USDA is sharing early information to help producers gather documents and train front-line staff on the new approach.

“We have worked diligently to help agricultural producers bounce back from devastating natural disasters as well as the coronavirus pandemic through an extensive suite of programs,” said Vilsack. “No matter how well we design these targeted efforts, we often find that some producers fall through the cracks or were harmed more severely than their neighbors. These new programs apply a holistic approach to emergency assistance – an approach not focused on any one disaster event or commodity but rather one focused on filling gaps in assistance for agricultural producers who have, over the past few years, suffered losses from natural disasters and the pandemic.”

ERP Phase Two will assist eligible agricultural producers who suffered eligible crop losses, measured through decreases in revenue, due to wildfires, hurricanes, floods, derechos, excessive heat, winter storms, freeze (including a polar vortex), smoke exposure, excessive moisture and qualifying droughts occurring in calendar years 2020 and 2021.

PARP will assist eligible producers of agricultural commodities who experienced revenue decreases in calendar year 2020 compared to 2018 or 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. PARP will help address gaps in previous pandemic assistance, which was targeted at price loss or lack of market access, rather than overall revenue losses.

Emergency Relief Program Phase Two

ERP is authorized under the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act, which includes $10 billion in assistance to agricultural producers impacted by wildfires, droughts, hurricanes, winter storms and other eligible disasters experienced during calendar years 2020 and 2021.

2405 Texas Ave. S.
College Station, TX 77840
www.fsa.usda.gov/tx

Contact:
FPAC.BC.Press@usda.gov

Phase Two builds on ERP Phase One, which was rolled out in May 2022 and has since paid more than $7.1 billion to producers who incurred eligible crop losses that were covered by federal crop insurance or Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.

ERP Phase Two includes producers who suffered eligible losses but may not have received program benefits in Phase One. To be eligible for Phase Two, producers must have suffered a loss in allowable gross revenue as defined in forthcoming program regulations in 2020 or 2021 due to necessary expenses related to losses of eligible crops from a qualifying natural disaster event.

Eligible crops include both traditional insurable commodities and specialty crops that are produced in the United States as part of a farming operation and are intended to be commercially marketed. Like other emergency relief and pandemic assistance programs, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) continues to look for ways to simplify the process for both staff and producers while reducing the paperwork burden. The design of ERP Phase Two is part of that effort.

In general, ERP Phase Two payments are expected to be based on the difference in certain farm revenue between a typical year of revenue as will be specified in program regulations for the producer and the disaster year.  ERP Phase Two assistance is targeted to the remaining needs of producers impacted by qualifying natural disaster events, while avoiding windfalls or duplicative payments. Details will be available when the rule is published later this year.

Deadline for Emergency Relief Program Phase One 

Producers who are eligible for assistance through ERP Phase One have until Friday, Dec. 16, 2022, to contact FSA at their local USDA Service Center to receive program benefits.  Going forward, if any additional ERP Phase One prefilled applications are generated due to corrections or other circumstances, there will be a 30-day deadline from the date of notification for that particular application.

Pandemic Assistance Revenue Program   

PARP is authorized and funded by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

To be eligible for PARP, an agricultural producer must have been in the business of farming during at least part of the 2020 calendar year and had a certain threshold decrease in allowable gross revenue for the 2020 calendar year, as compared to 2018 or 2019. Exact details on the calculations and eligibility will be available when the forthcoming rule is published.

How Producers Can Prepare 

ERP Phase Two and PARP will use revenue information that is readily available from most tax records. FSA encourages producers to have their tax documents from the past few years and supporting materials ready, as explained further below. Producers will need similar documentation to what was needed for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Phase Two, where a producer could use 2018 or 2019 as the benchmark year relative to the disaster year.

In the coming weeks, USDA will provide additional information on how to apply for assistance through ERP Phase Two and PARP. In the meantime, producers are encouraged to begin gathering supporting documentation including:
 Schedule F (Form 1040); and
 Profit or Loss from Farming or similar tax documents for tax years 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 for ERP and for calendar years 2018, 2019 and 2020 for PARP.

Producers should also have, or be prepared to have, the following forms on file for both ERP and PARP program participation:

 Form AD-2047, Customer Data Worksheet (as applicable to the program participant);
 Form CCC-902, Farm Operating Plan for an individual or legal entity;
 Form CCC-901, Member Information for Legal Entities (if applicable); and
 Form AD-1026 Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC) Certification.

Most producers, especially those who have previously participated in FSA programs, will likely have these required forms on file. However, those who are uncertain or want to confirm should contact FSA at their local USDA Service Center.

In addition to the forms listed above, underserved producers are encouraged to register their status with FSA, using Form CCC-860, Socially Disadvantaged, Limited Resource, Beginning and Veteran Farmer or Rancher Certification, as certain existing permanent and ad-hoc disaster programs provide increased benefits or reduced fees and premiums.

More Information 

Through proactive communications and outreach, USDA will keep producers and stakeholders informed as program eligibility, application and implementation details unfold.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit usda.gov.

FSA Offers Safety Net Programs for Honeybee Producers

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) administers two programs that have specific safety net benefits for producers of honeybees and honey. The Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) and the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) assist producers when disasters impact honey production or damage or destroy colonies, hives or honeybee feed.
NAP is designed to reduce financial losses when natural disasters result in lower yields or crop losses, including honey. NAP coverage is equivalent to catastrophic insurance, meaning it covers up to 50 percent of a producer’s normal yield (must have at least a 50 percent loss) at 55 percent of the average market price. The 2018 Farm Bill reinstates higher levels of coverage, from 50 to 65 percent of expected production in 5 percent increments, at 100 percent of the average market price. Producers of organics and crops marketed directly to consumers also may exercise the “buy-up” option to obtain NAP coverage of 100 percent of the average market price at the coverage levels of between 50 and 65 percent of expected production.
The NAP service fee is the lesser of $325 per crop or $825 per producer per administrative county, not to exceed a total of $1,950 for a producer with farming interests in multiple counties.  You must apply for NAP coverage by Dec. 31 prior to the year for which you’re seeking coverage.
ELAP covers colony losses, honeybee hive losses (the physical structure) and honeybee feed losses in instances where the colony, hive or feed has been destroyed by a natural disaster or, in the case of colony losses, because of Colony Collapse Disorder. Colony losses must be in excess of normal mortality.
Both the NAP and ELAP programs require you to report the number of colonies you have in production to FSA by Jan. 2, 2023. You must notify FSA within 30 calendar days of changes in the total number of colonies or when honeybees are moved to another county. 
For both programs, you must notify FSA within 15 calendar days of when a loss occurs or from when the loss is apparent.
To learn more about programs for honey and honeybee producers, contact your local USDA Service Center or visit fsa.usda.gov.

2022 Annual Meeting

We had a successful annual meeting at the Texas Beekeepers Association Convention in Temple, Texas.

Congratulations to our new President, Dodie Stillman & Vice President, Byron Compton. As well as our 3 new board members, Jake Moore, Barbi Rose, and Andy Knight.

Here are the slides from the meeting for those of you who missed it.

The TBA Board is excited to continue to move forward in this upcoming year with new projects and initiatives. Stay tuned!

2022 TBA Annual Business Meeting

Raw Honey from Argentina, Brazil, India, and Vietnam Injures U.S. Industry, Says USITC

Raw Honey from Argentina, Brazil, India, and Vietnam Injures U.S. Industry, Says USITC

May 11, 2022
News Release 22-058
Inv. No. 731-TA-1560-1562 and 731-TA-1564 (Final)
Contact: Jennifer Andberg, 202-205-1819

Raw Honey from Argentina, Brazil, India, and Vietnam Injures U.S. Industry, Says USITC

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of imports of raw honey from Argentina, Brazil, India, and Vietnam that the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) has determined are sold in the United States at less than fair value.

Chair Jason E. Kearns, Vice Chair Randolph J. Stayin, and Commissioners David S. Johanson, Rhonda K. Schmidtlein, and Amy A. Karpel voted in the affirmative.

As a result of the Commission’s affirmative determinations, Commerce will issue antidumping duty orders on imports of this product from Argentina, Brazil, India, and Vietnam.

The Commission made a negative critical circumstances finding with regard to imports of this product from Argentina. The Commission made an affirmative critical circumstances finding with regard to imports of this product from Vietnam.

The Commission’s public report Raw Honey from Argentina, Brazil, India, and Vietnam (Inv. Nos. 731-TA-1560-1562 and 731-TA-1564 (Final), USITC Publication 5327, May 2022) will contain the views of the Commission and information developed during the investigations.

The report will be available by June 20, 2022; when available, it may be accessed on the USITC website at: http://pubapps.usitc.gov/applications/publogs/qry_publication_loglist.asp.

UNITED STATES INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION
Washington, DC 20436

FACTUAL HIGHLIGHTS
Raw Honey from Argentina, Brazil, India, and Vietnam
Investigation Nos.: 731-TA-1560-1562, 1564 (Final)

Product Description:  Honey is a sweet, viscous fluid produced from the nectar of plants and flowers which is collected by honeybees, transformed, and combined with substances of their own, and stored and left in honeycombs to mature and ripen. Raw honey is honey as it exists in the beehive or as obtained by extraction, settling and skimming, or straining.

Status of Proceedings:

  1. Type of investigation:  Final antidumping duty investigations.
  2. Petitioners:  American Honey Producers Association (“AHPA“), Bruce, South Dakota; and Sioux Honey Association (“SHA”), Sioux City, Iowa.
  3. USITC Institution Date:  Wednesday, April 21, 2021.
  4. USITC Hearing Date:  Tuesday, April 12, 2022.
  5. USITC Vote Date:  Wednesday, May 11, 2022.
  6. USITC Notification to Commerce Date:  Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

U.S. Industry in 2020:

  1. Number of U.S. producers:  approximately 30,000 to 60,000.
  2. Location of producers’ plants: North Dakota, South Dakota, California, Texas, Montana, Florida, Minnesota, and Michigan
  3. Production and related workers:  1,360.
  4. U.S. producers’ U.S. shipments:  $302 million.
  5. Apparent U.S. consumption:  $690 million.
  6. Ratio of subject imports to apparent U.S. consumption:  42.8 percent.

U.S. Imports in 2020:

  1. Subject imports:  $296 million.
  2. Nonsubject imports:  $93 million.
  3. Leading import sources:  Argentina, Brazil, India, Vietnam.

https://www.usitc.gov/press_room/news_release/2022/er0511ll1935.htm

What does this mean for beekeepers?

The decision will be transmitted to the Commerce Department, which will issue antidumping duty orders shortly. In addition, the Commission reached an affirmative critical circumstances determination against Vietnam. This means that U.S. Customs will collect antidumping duties on entries going back an additional 90 days prior to the preliminary antidumping duty determination—from August 28, 2020, forward. This is an important additional finding, and one that the Commission rarely makes.

These results should continue to ensure that the American honey producer gets the fair prices they deserve.

We truly appreciate all of the donations that we have received to cover legal fees.

The good fight isn’t over yet, however, and we still need your support.

To donate to the Antidumping Fund, please contact
Cassie Cox: cassie@ahpanet.com
281-900-9740

Or donate on our secure website: https://www.ahpanet.com/donations-1

Pesticides impair the ability of bees to pollinate strawberries

Pesticides impair the ability of bees to pollinate strawberries

ByErin Moody
Earth.com staff writer

Researchers from Lund University in Sweden have discovered that when bees consume the pesticide clothianidin on rapeseed flowers, they move more slowly than non-exposed bees. The experts also found that strawberries pollinated by the affected bees are smaller.

“We studied bees that ingested clothianidin, a pesticide that was previously used in rapeseed to control flea beetles. Our study indicates that the substance made the bees slower and impaired their ability to pollinate the strawberry flowers,” explained study lead author Lina Herbertsson.

The researchers conducted an experiment using 12 outdoor cages containing the bees and rapeseed plants. Half the cages had rapeseed plants treated with clothianidin, and the other half were not treated with the pesticide.

The bees in the treated containers took more time to visit the same number of rapeseed flowers as the non-exposed bees. When they weighed the strawberries pollinated by the bees, researchers determined the strawberries pollinated by the exposed bees weighed less.

“Previous studies have shown that clothianidin affects wild bees negatively in terms of foraging speed, development and reproduction. Our results indicate that it can also impair the bees’ ability to pollinate strawberry flowers,” said Herbertsson.

Although the study is significant, the authors are careful not to jump to conclusions. “In our study, we did not identify the cause for the lower strawberry weight, and after only having performed a single study under rather special circumstances, we also don’t know if this is a general pattern,” explained Herbertsson.

“Although clothianidin is now banned, other substances that affect the nervous system of insects in a similar way have partly replaced it. It is therefore of the utmost importance to continue this research and investigate how these substances affect bee behavior and pollination.”
This study can be found in the journal PLoS ONE.

https://www.earth.com/news/pesticides-impair-the-ability-of-bees-to-pollinate-strawberries/

Australia Update – NSW keepers must kill bees to get payments

NSW keepers must kill bees to get payments
Phoebe LoomesAAP
Sun, 4 September 2022 7:34PM

Compensation to support NSW beekeepers through a deadly parasite outbreak will not be issued until the affected bees have been euthanised.

The varroa mite that attacks and feeds on honey bees was detected near Newcastle in June, prompting the creation of emergency eradication and surveillance zones.

As the government worked to trace and remove the parasite, some 97 infected premises were detected around the Hunter, Narrabri and Coffs Harbour areas by mid August.

Bees are vital to pollination, with billions of dollars worth of crops threatened if it doesn’t occur.

Honey bee colonies within eradication zones have to be euthanised and this must be reported to the Department of Primary Industries. The hives must also be inspected and managed by officials.

An $18 million federal-state government support package was announced in July and NSW Agriculture Minister Dugald Saunders says keepers are now being compensated for their bees, hives, frames and other materials that had to be destroyed.

“You’re not getting paid before your bees have been euthanised but as that happens the compensation is available very quickly,” he told a budget estimates hearing on Monday.

“I understand it’s difficult if you’re looking at income and you haven’t had any income.”

The amount of compensation was negotiated by the federal government after consulting with the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council, Mr Saunders said.

Additional support is in place for commercial beekeepers including compensation for fuel, income and honey production.

Recreational keepers who euthanised their hives are also eligible for up to $550 in compensation per hive or $200 if they retain the hive, only killing the bees.

Mr Saunders says his office is confident most recreational keepers in the emergency zones have been identified, after a few hundred people a day helped locate hives during the outbreak.

Recreational keepers had come on board to register their hives for the industry’s future sustainability, he said.
Last month NSW eased restrictions on some beekeepers, with those outside the emergency notification zones allowed to move bees and hives more freely.

To combat its own varroa incursion, Victoria introduced a statewide permit system for anyone bringing bee or bee products across its border last month, which will not be granted to people from NSW.

https://thewest.com.au/politics/nsw-keepers-must-kill-bees-to-get-payments-c-8122316

Honey Industry Votes to Continue the Research and Promotion Program

Honey Industry Votes to Continue the Research and Promotion Program
Date September 08, 2022

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced that U.S. honey first handlers and importers have approved continuing the National Honey Board research and promotion program.

In the referendum, 73.8% of first handlers and importers voting, who represented 85.5% of the volume of honey or honey products voting in the referendum, were in favor of continuing the program. Over 50% of the first handlers and importers voting and over 50% of the volume voting in the referendum were required for the program to continue.

To be eligible to participate in the referendum, first handlers and importers had to handle or import at least 250,000 pounds of honey or honey products during the representative period of Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2021, and be subject to assessments under the program.

The Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order, which has been administered by the National Honey Board since 2008, requires USDA to conduct a referendum every seven years to determine whether the industry is in favor of continuing the program. For the program to continue, first handlers and importers had to approve the program by a majority of handlers and importers voting in the referendum, who also represent a majority of the volume represented in the referendum.

The honey research and promotion program is authorized under the Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996. The program was developed to administer an effective and coordinated program of generic promotion, consumer information and related research designed to drive consumption of honey and honey products in the U.S.

For more information about the National Honey Board, visit the National Honey Board AMS webpage page or visit their website at honey.com.

Since 1966, Congress has authorized the development of industry-funded research and promotion boards to provide a framework for agricultural industries to pool their resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets and conduct important research and promotion activities.  The Agricultural Marketing Service provides oversight of 22 boards, paid for by industry assessments, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.

https://www.ams.usda.gov/content/honey-industry-votes-continue-research-and-promotion-program

USDA Honey Outlook Report: U.S. Demand for Honey Hits All-Time High

USDA Honey Outlook Report:
U.S. Demand for Honey Hits All-Time High

The USDA has published its annual Honey Outlook Report, and the news is overwhelmingly positive. The United States is the second largest honey consumer behind China, according to the latest data available from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in 2019. And in 2021, consumption reached a new record high of 618 million pounds, up 8 percent from the previous year.

The previous record was 596 million pounds in 2017. Between 1991 and 2021, the average rate of growth has been 10.7 million pounds per year. This translates to about 1.9 pounds per capita of honey consumption in 2021 compared with 1.2 pounds per capita in the early 1990s. The growth in demand, in part due to the growing population, has also been attributed to consumers’ association of honey as a “superfood”—along with garlic, ginger and turmeric—and perception of honey being a healthy sweetener.

According to the Honey Outlook Report, the national average price paid to honey producers in 2021 was $2.54 per pound, up from last year’s $2.10. This is now the highest price, surpassing 2018’s record-high price of $2.21. Prices in 2021 were higher than 2020 by 23 to 28 percent in the top 3 producing states and by 8 percent in the rest of the states. Read the full report here.