News and Announcements
The Small Business Administration will begin accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications on a limited basis only, in order to provide unprecedented relief to U.S. agricultural businesses.
The application is available at: www.SBA.gov/Disaster.
• The SBA hopes to open the portal at approximately 12:00 p.m. on Monday, May 4th.
• At this time, only agricultural business applications will be accepted due to limitations in funding availability and the unprecedented submission of applications already received.
• Agriculture businesses is defined as those businesses engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries (as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b)).
• In addition, SBA has resumed processing EIDL applications that were submitted before the portal stopped accepting new applications on April 15 and will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
• For agricultural businesses that submitted an EIDL application through the streamlined application portal prior to the legislative change, SBA will process these applications without the need for re-applying.
• For more information or to apply, please visit: www.sba.gov/Disaster.
USDA Extends Deadline to Submit Project Proposals for On-Farm Demonstrations and Alternative Funding Arrangements
WASHINGTON, April 20, 2020 – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) today announced it will extend deadlines for project proposal submissions to May 29 for On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials and the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) Alternative Funding Arrangements (AFAs). Originally deadlines were mid-May, but NRCS wanted to provide additional time because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“NRCS recognizes the hardship that this unprecedented time is causing our partners and others,” said NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr. “We want to offer them additional time to take full advantage of these opportunities to propose bold and transformative projects to advance agriculture and conservation for present and future generations of agricultural producers and private forest landowners.”
NRCS will invest up to $50 million in fiscal year 2020 to fund AFAs, a unique and partner-led approach to address natural resource concerns at local, regional and landscape scales. NRCS is authorized to fund up to 15 projects in which partners will receive greater liberty to manage an RCPP project and the associated relationships with participating producers and landowners. Funding for projects will range from $250,000 to $10 million.
Through AFAs, approved project partners can work directly with farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners to carry out RCPP projects, instead of implementing projects through NRCS producer contracts and landowner easements.
The 2018 Farm Bill highlighted some project types that are particularly suited to AFAs:
- Projects that use innovative approaches to leverage the federal investment in conservation;
- Projects that deploy a pay-for-performance conservation approach; and
- Projects that seek large-scale infrastructure investments that generate benefits for agricultural producers and nonindustrial private forest owners.
Additionally, NRCS will invest up to $25 million in On-Farm Trials in 2020, which are a component of the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). This investment will help support the adoption and evaluation of innovative conservation approaches on agricultural land. This includes up to $10 million for the Soil Health Demonstration Trials. On-Farm Trials funding is designed to offer producers, through partners, technical and financial assistance compensation for any risks associated with carrying out new conservation practices, systems and approaches at the farm level, including the environmental, financial and social (to the extent possible) impacts of carrying them out.
NRCS is seeking proposals that address at least one of the following four On-Farm Trial main priorities:
- Irrigation Management Technologies;
- Precision Agriculture Technologies and Strategies;
- Management Technologies and Strategies; and
- Soil Health Demonstrations Trials.