Correcting Some Reporting on Farmer Debt Relief in Inflation Reduction Act

A new provision will provide USDA with $3.1 billion in funding for USDA to provide relief for at-risk agricultural operations. All distressed borrowers of direct or guaranteed loans administered by USDA are potentially eligible for assistance under this provision which is designed to keep these farmers in production.

Through this section USDA can provide loan modifications and payments to distressed borrowers with the goal of keeping farmers farming.

The bill also amends Section 1006 of the American Rescue Plan to provide $2.2 billion for a program to provide financial assistance to farmers, ranchers or forest landowners who have experienced discrimination in USDA lending programs. Under the new language, financial assistance would go to farmers, ranchers or forest landowners who are “determined to have experienced discrimination prior to Jan. 1, 2021,” in USDA farm lending programs. The financial assistance may not be more than $500,000 “as determined to be appropriate based on any consequences experienced from the discrimination.” The provision also indicated the program “shall be administered through one or more qualified nongovernmental entities selected by the Secretary, subject to standards set and enforced by the Secretary.”

The bill also includes $250 million that would go towards research, education and extension, as well as scholarships for 1890 Institutions — land-grant, historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Another $250 million in the bill would go to help underserved producers through loans and grants such as those who farm on heirs’ property.

To see the full details of the bill language on these provisions, see Section 22006 and Section 22007 page 554 of the bill. The full bill text for “Senate amendment to HR 5376 can be found at…

Interestingly enough, the one-page explanation of “Agriculture Committee Provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act” does not mention anything about these provisions.…

The House Rules Committee is set to meet at 1 pm Central on Wednesday to debate the rules on which the House will vote on the Inflation Reduction Act. The House majority leader has now posted on his website that Aug. 12 is now the “added voting day,” for the House to take up the bill.

I’ll try to do better moving forward when reporting on the details of legislation.

Chris Clayton can be reached at

Follow him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN


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