Friday, September 2, 2022

Thursday September 1 Ag News


A University of Nebraska research team is working on a critical issue in agriculture and automated systems: cybersecurity for agricultural machinery and technology.

Santosh Pitla, associate professor of advanced machinery systems at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, brought together team members from the Nebraska U and University of Nebraska at Omaha campuses in fall 2020 through a project looking at the security and hackability of autonomous farm vehicles that was supported through the University of Nebraska Collaborative Initiative seed funding.

In addition to Pitla, the group included Mark Freyhof, master’s student in agricultural engineering at Nebraska; George Grispos, assistant professor of cybersecurity at UNO; and Cody Stolle, research assistant professor at Nebraska.

Since this is a relatively new area of research in agricultural systems, collaboration has been key. Pitla has been working with autonomous tractors and agricultural robotics since 2010. While most of his focus has been on making different autonomy levels feasible, he started working with Grispos once engineers started integrating the Internet of Things into the machinery.

“It’s been a really fruitful collaboration,” Pitla said. “Agriculture researchers and cybersecurity experts are both really important to conduct research in the cybersecurity area (of agricultural technology). This allows us to really be proactive and find solutions or mitigation techniques.”

This topic is becoming increasingly relevant as farmers try to produce more food with fewer resources, Grispos said in a Fast Company article he co-authored.

“The advent of precision farming comes at a time of significant upheaval in the global supply chain as the number of foreign and domestic hackers with the ability to exploit this technology continues to grow,” he wrote in the article.

In addition, cyberattacks in the ag sector have already occurred. For example, in 2021, a grain storage cooperative in Iowa was targeted by a Russian-speaking group called BlackMatter, Reuters reported.

Grispos said the integration of automated technologies in farm equipment has the potential to increase vulnerability to cyberattacks, even on smaller farm operations.

“While previous attacks have targeted larger companies and cooperatives and aimed to extort the victims for money, individual farms could be at risk, too,” he said.

Freyhof conducted research on agriculture cybersecurity for his master’s project, with Pitla serving as the principal investigator and Grispos and Stolle as committee members.

Breaking ground in this project area was both “cool and challenging at the same time,” Freyhof said.

“There was little previous literature that investigated cybersecurity solutions for agricultural technology and machinery — therefore, a large part of the project involved tying many interdisciplinary topics together,” he said. “This made for a challenging but fun project.”

To approach the topic, Freyhof started by conducting a case study of cybersecurity breaches on agricultural equipment, using Flex-Ro as a test case. Flex-Ro is an agricultural robot that can be controlled remotely and operated autonomously.

Rather than perform tests directly on Flex-Ro, Freyhof decided to build a testbed to investigate specific systems on the Flex-Ro machine to avoid performing potentially damaging tests on the machine itself.

The testbed, named Security Test Bed for Agricultural Vehicles and Environments (STAVE), was a useful tool for investigating cybersecurity vulnerabilities on Flex-Ro. It has great potential in future research into cybersecurity of agricultural machinery, Pitla said.

The group published a research paper about the ways STAVE could be used, which was selected as the best paper at the Midwest United States Association for Information Systems conference earlier this year.

“The reality is, agricultural machines and other agricultural technologies have an increasing level of integrated digital solutions as they move closer toward full autonomy,” he said. “Cybersecurity cannot be an afterthought, as the world will be dependent on these machines and technologies in the future.”

Pitla agreed that potential vulnerabilities need to be addressed to effectively advance the future of agriculture.

“You could have really smart equipment — an autonomous machine with a lot of computers, lots of sensors, artificial intelligence — but if it has a weak link with respect to cybersecurity, all that intelligence is of no use,” he said.

“Providing safe and secure agricultural machinery is important for food and national security. IANR is rightly positioned to provide strategic leadership in creating cyber-safe agricultural production systems.”

Freyhof graduated in August and will continue to work as an engineer for Precision Planting in Illinois. Pitla said the research team’s experience developing STAVE will help with plans to build security testbeds for smart and autonomous systems of the entire food supply chain.

North Platte Chamber & Development announces pursuit of soybean crush plant

The North Platte Chamber & Development Corporation (the Chamber) has announced its pursuit of a soybean processing plant to anchor its newly developing industrial rail park.

The 300-acre industrial rail park is located eight miles west of North Platte, near Hershey. Over three years of planning with Union Pacific Railroad, the Nebraska Legislature, Lincoln County Commissioners, the Village of Hershey, the City of North Platte, Greenbrier Rail Services, various utility partners and local landowners has positioned the project to move forward. A major feasibility study to attract a soybean oil crush facility earned a platinum rating on its viability.

The Chamber has acquired options to purchase the land for the rail park site and successfully secured a $30 million grant through the Rural Projects Act from the State of Nebraska. Access to the main line has been granted by Union Pacific for use by the park. A Phase 1 environmental assessment has been conducted on the entire park site with no significant findings. The park development will qualify for Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and will be developed in stages, with an estimated $60 million in infrastructure development to be done by the Chamber after an anchor partner is chosen, with the overall rail and utility infrastructure designed for the needs of the anchor partner. The Chamber acknowledges the best anchor partner is most likely an agricultural processor, sought guidance from the Nebraska Soybean Board (NSB), and subsequently contracted with RLA Consulting Group, an internationally experienced team of former executives with substantial soybean processing experience, to complete an extensive feasibility study on locating a 3,000 metric ton per day soybean processing plant at the park.

An excerpt from the study states “RLA Consulting’s investigations confirm a great opportunity and limited risk for locating a 3,000 metric ton per day soybean crushing plant in North Platte, Nebraska. The proposed site is in Western Nebraska and has access to sufficient soybean production there and from Northwestern Kansas to support the plant.”

The study indicates “Preliminary findings indicate that a capital investment of $285 million provides a pre-tax 18.8% ROI” and continues with “Overall, North Platte appears to be in an enviable and dominant position with a regional strategic location and flexible transportation connections.”

The surging, policy driven, demand for Renewable Diesel (RD), with soybean oil being the primary domestic feedstock, is bringing soybean processors in partnership with the liquid fuels industry to expand soybean processing on a large, national scale. The study highlights “The Renewable Diesel industry’s demand for soybean oil has the potential to be one of the biggest demand side drivers since the rise of demand for corn to produce ethanol during 2005-2010”, and notes “most RD plants are located in the US Gulf States and Western U.S. and are principally serviced by rail and barge logistics.” “North Platte would benefit from the standpoint of its transportation proximity to these markets… With the adoption of the RD policy in California and the petroleum industry’s rush to build out the refining infrastructure we no longer consider soybean oil demand to be a concern and it is in fact now a considerable benefit for the economics of the proposed plant site given its proximity to the California market.”

“The soybean processing industry is experiencing tremendous growth across Nebraska and the Midwest,” said Doug Saathoff, farmer and NSB chairman. “Global and domestic demand for sustainably grown soybean meal and oil continues to grow and we are excited to discover and help research new value-added opportunities right here in Nebraska.”

The proposed 3,000 metric ton plant would process over 36 million bushels of soybeans annually.  Regarding supply, the study shows “Using the soybean production average for the 2017-2021 crop years indicates the North Platte location should have access to “captive” volume of approximately 21.9 million bushels annually. The word “captive” is used in the sense that there are no competing soybean plants which are closer than the … proposed North Platte location.” Analyzing Nebraska’s three most western Crop Reporting Districts, and applying calculations from when other new soybean plants were built, the study concludes acreage expansion “theoretically increase the soybean production total for the three districts from 20 million in Year 1 to 46 million bushels by Year 5.”

Marketing soybean meal locally, the study suggests “a North Platte crushing plant could have access to up to an estimated 665,000 tons of soybean meal demand annually, or approximately 78% of the plant’s meal production.”, and utilizing Union Pacific rail expands to “North Platte is well-located to supply several regional soybean meal markets. These would include the PNW as well as the Western and Southwestern U.S.”

The Chamber is now soliciting proposals from parties interested in developing a soybean processing plant in the new rail park. To review the rail park site, access the full feasibility and economic study, and submit proposals; contact Gary Person, President and CEO, North Platte Area Chamber & Development at 308-532-4966 or

College Aggies Online scholarship program kicks off on September 12

The Animal Agriculture Alliance’s annual College Aggies Online (CAO) scholarship competition kicks off in less than two weeks on September 12. Participants will have the opportunity to network and learn from a variety of industry professionals and farm influencers. Undergraduates, graduate students, and collegiate clubs and classes are invited to sign up.

CAO connects college students who are interested in promoting agriculture and gives them the skills they need to effectively engage with key audiences online and on campus. Individual participants engage with their peers on social media by posting information about current and emerging issues facing farmers and ranchers and telling personal stories. Club participants are challenged to host events virtually or on their campus to talk about modern agriculture with their peers. Last year, students reached four million people on social media and over 5,200 people at club events.

“College Aggies Online has provided me with unique opportunities to strengthen my agricultural communications skills through weekly challenges that pushed me in my professional writing, social media outreach and graphic design,” said Kylie Scott, 2021 recipient of the second-place overall scholarship prize in the graduate student division. “The weekly mentors are an invaluable resource to participants who offer advice from their personal experiences and teach how to best utilize the social media space to advocate for agriculture. This scholarship program has been invaluable in not only financially aiding my academic career but also facilitating the expansion of my professional network and development of employable skills.”

Mentors for the 2022 competition include:
    Jessica Peters, Pennsylvania Dairy Farmer
    Emily Shaw, Founder, Dairy Girl Fitness
    Lauren Arbogast, Virginia Chicken Farmer
    Allison Fitzgerald, Regulatory and Scientific Engagement Manager, Bayer
    Natalie Kovarik, Nebraska Cattle Rancher
    Katie Hayes, RDN, Director, Nutrition Communications, Egg Nutrition Center
    Joe Proudman, Associate Director for Communications, CLEAR Center at University of California, Davis
    Lacie Dotterweich, Manager, Communications and Social Media, American Feed Industry Association
    Brandi Buzzard Frobose, Kansas Cattle Rancher, Red Angus Association of America

Students interested in becoming confident and effective communicators for agriculture are can learn more and sign up at

The CAO program would not be possible without the generous support of our 2022 sponsors: Dairy Management Inc., National Pork Industry Foundation, CHS Foundation, Bayer, National Corn Growers Association, U.S, Poultry & Egg Association, Institute for Feed Education and Research, Domino’s Pizza Inc., Ohio Poultry Association, Culvers Franchising System, National Chicken Council and Pennsylvania Beef Council.

Highlights from the September 2022 Farm Income Forecast

Net farm income, a broad measure of profits, is forecast at $147.7 billion in calendar year 2022, an increase of $7.3 billion (5.2 percent) in 2022 relative to 2021. The 2021 value is an increase of $45.9 billion (48.5 percent) relative to 2020. When prior years are adjusted for inflation, net farm income in 2021 was at its highest level since 2013. Net farm income in 2022 would be $0.9 billion (0.6 percent) lower than in 2021 yet 42.1 percent above its 20-year average (2002–21) of $104.0 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars.

Net cash farm income is forecast at $168.5 billion in 2022, an increase of $22.1 billion (15.1 percent) relative to 2021. The 2021 value was $29.6 billion (25.4 percent) above 2020. When adjusted for inflation, 2022 net cash farm income is forecast to increase by $13.5 billion (8.7 percent) from 2021 and be at its highest level since 2012. Net cash farm income in 2022 would be 34.5 percent above its 2002–21 average of $125.3 billion. Net cash farm income encompasses cash receipts from farming as well as farm-related income (including Government payments) minus cash expenses. It does not include noncash items—including changes in inventories, economic depreciation, and gross imputed rental income of operator dwellings—reflected in the net farm income measure above.

Cash receipts from the sale of agricultural commodities are forecast to increase by $91.7 billion (21.2 percent, in nominal terms) from 2021 levels to $525.3 billion in 2022. Total crop receipts are expected to increase by $36.4 billion (15.3 percent) from their 2021 level following higher receipts for soybeans, corn, and wheat. Total animal/animal product receipts are expected to increase even more from the previous year, by $55.3 billion (28.3 percent), following increases in receipts for all categories of animal/animal products. These increases would put total cash receipts in 2022 at their highest level on record, even after adjusting prior years for inflation.

While cash receipts overall are expected to increase in 2022, lower direct Government payments and higher production expenses are expected to moderate income growth. Direct Government payments are forecast to fall by $12.8 billion (49.7 percent) from 2021 to $13.0 billion in 2022. The decrease is expected largely because of lower supplemental and ad hoc disaster assistance for COVID-19 relief in 2022 compared with 2021. Meanwhile, total production expenses, including operator dwelling expenses, are forecast to increase by $66.2 billion (17.8 percent) to $437.3 billion (in nominal terms) in 2022. Spending on all categories of expenses is expected to rise with the largest increase in fertilizer-lime-soil conditioner expenditures, up 44 percent.

Average net cash farm income for farm businesses is forecast to fall 3.3 percent from 2021 to $98,200 per farm in 2022 (in nominal terms). However, the regional average net cash farm income outlook is mixed. For farm businesses located in the Northern Crescent region, average net cash farm income is forecast to increase in 2022, but it is forecast to decline for farm businesses in all other regions when adjusted for inflation. Farm businesses specializing in dairy are expected to see the largest growth in average net cash farm income in 2022, while those specializing in wheat, cotton, and specialty crops are expected to see the largest declines in 2022.

Farm sector equity is expected to increase by $315.6 billion (10.4 percent) in 2022 to $3.34 trillion in nominal terms. Farm sector assets are forecast to increase $337.5 billion (9.7 percent) in 2022 to $3.84 trillion following expected increases in the value of farm real estate assets. Farm sector debt is forecast to increase by $21.9 billion (4.6 percent) in 2022 to $496.0 billion in nominal terms but it is forecast to fall by 1.2 percent when adjusted for inflation. Debt-to-asset levels for the sector are forecast to improve from 13.56 percent in 2021 to 12.93 percent in 2022. Working capital, which measures the amount of cash available to fund operating expenses after paying off debt due within 12 months, is forecast to fall by 2.6 percent in 2022.

Median Income of Farm Operator Households is Estimated to Rise in 2021 and Forecast to Decline in 2022 When Adjusted for Inflation

Median total farm household income is estimated to increase in calendar year 2021 to $92,250 and increase further to $93,663 in 2022. That is a nominal increase of 15.2 percent (a 10.6-percent increase after inflation) between 2020 and 2021 and a 1.5-percent nominal increase (a 4.1-percent decline after inflation) in 2022. The estimates for 2021 are preliminary and subject to change in the December 2022 release.

Farm households typically receive income from both farm and off-farm sources. Median farm income earned by farm households is estimated to increase in 2021 to $210 from -$1,198 in 2020, and then forecast to decline to -$986 in 2022. Many farm households primarily rely on off-farm income: median off-farm income in 2021 is estimated at $82,809, an increase of 22 percent from $67,873 in 2020, and to continue increasing by 6.3 percent to $88,034 in 2022. The increase in 2021 was mainly due to higher earned income—income from wages, salary, and nonfarm businesses—which rose 54 percent from $32,428 in 2020 to $50,000 in 2021. Unearned income—income from interest, investments, pension and retirement accounts, unemployment compensation and other public transfers—also increased by 7.2 percent between 2020 and 2021. Since farm and off-farm income are not distributed identically for every farm, median total income will generally not equal the sum of median off-farm and median farm income.

The Center for Food Integrity and United Soybean Board Highlight Strategies to Build Trust in Ag Technology

Exciting new ag technologies are emerging to help address some of the most significant challenges for today’s food system – unprecedented food inflation, supply chain disruptions, animal welfare concerns and climate change. Technology breakthroughs could help reduce impacts on the environment, alleviate animal disease and suffering, cut food waste, enable crops to withstand weather extremes, improve the health and quality of foods, and make farming more sustainable.

For these innovations to reach the market and be successful, they must be accepted by consumers.

Why do consumers accept some ag and food technologies and reject others? We’ve worked to answer that question, through recent consumer and food company research by The Center for Food Integrity (CFI) and the United Soybean Board (USB).

The findings identify specific audiences most accepting of technology and indicate specific strategies most likely to earn trust in new and emerging technologies.

“One of the biggest challenges historically to introducing technology in food and agriculture has been a lack of ‘felt need’ by society. Consumers have believed that we have what we need, and new technology in food production offers little societal benefit,” said Charlie Arnot, CEO of The Center for Food Integrity. “But today, our food supply is facing unprecedented pressure. Felt need is now increasing among regulators, policymakers and food system stakeholders trying to address unprecedented food inflation, meet climate commitments and secure more reliable supply chains. The market is ripe for new technologies that can help solve some of these larger challenges.”

CFI surveyed consumers and interviewed a broad spectrum of food leaders to determine the specific factors that increase acceptance – or rejection – of new technologies in food and agriculture. Based on those findings, CFI developed a strategic roadmap for the food system with specific recommendations for each sector of the food system, including technology developers, agriculture producers, food retailers and foodservice, CPG companies, research institutions and NGOs.

“We have developed a roadmap with strategic steps that can be used to build trust in agriculture technology. These approaches are useful for organizations of any size, as well as individuals,” Arnot said. “The approaches can be applied to various types of technology in food and agriculture, such as synthetic biology, precision agriculture, gene editing and even emerging technologies still in development.”

In addition, CFI created a communication guide outlining trust-building strategies and conversation starters to engage with consumers about food and ag technology.

The research findings and strategic roadmap will be presented in a series of webinars in September. Each webinar will provide tailored recommendations for specific sectors of the food system.     

10 a.m. CT Sept. 15 Building Trust in Ag Tech: Farm Focus

10 a.m. CT Sept. 20 Building Trust in Ag Tech: Innovator Focus

10 a.m. CT Sept. 21 Building Trust in Ag Tech: Food Focus

Attendees are invited to register for one, two or all three events.

For more information and to register visit

USDA Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production

Total corn consumed for alcohol and other uses was 500 million bushels in July 2022. Total corn consumption was up 1 percent from June 2022 but down 1 percent from July 2021. July 2022 usage included 91.3 percent for alcohol and 8.7 percent for other purposes. Corn consumed for beverage alcohol totaled 3.40 million bushels, down 7 percent from June 2022 and down 7 percent from July 2021. Corn for fuel alcohol, at 446 million bushels, was up less than 1 percent from June 2022 but down 1 percent from July 2021. Corn consumed in July 2022 for dry milling fuel production and wet milling fuel production was 92.8 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively.

Dry mill co-product production of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) was 1.93 million tons during July 2022, up 1 percent from June 2022 but down 2 percent from July 2021. Distillers wet grains (DWG) 65 percent or more moisture was 1.28 million tons in July 2022, down less than 1 percent from June 2022 but up 14 percent from July 2021.

Wet mill corn gluten feed production was 271,334 tons during July 2022, down 6 percent from June 2022 and down 11 percent from July 2021. Wet corn gluten feed 40 to 60 percent moisture was 221,764 tons in July 2022, up 9 percent from June 2022 and up 6 percent from July 2021.

Fats and Oils: Oilseed Crushings, Production, Consumption and Stocks

Soybeans crushed for crude oil was 5.44 million tons (181 million bushels) in July 2022, compared with 5.22 million tons (174 million bushels) in June 2022 and 4.99 million tons (166 million bushels) in July 2021. Crude oil produced was 2.16 billion pounds up 4 percent from June 2022 and up 9 percent from July 2021. Soybean once refined oil production at 1.68 billion pounds during July 2022 increased 2 percent from June 2022 and increased 6 percent from July 2021.

Canola seeds crushed for crude oil was 150,198 tons in July 2022, compared with 147,715 tons in
June 2022 and 145,967 tons in July 2021. Canola crude oil produced was 117 million pounds, down 3 percent from June 2022 and down 6 percent from July 2021. Canola once refined oil production, at 119 million pounds during July 2022, was down 4 percent from June 2022 and down 19 percent from July 2021.

Cottonseed once refined oil production, at 37.6 million pounds during July 2022, was down 11 percent from June 2022 but up 15 percent from July 2021.

Edible tallow production was 78.4 million pounds during July 2022, down 18 percent from June 2022 and down 8 percent from July 2021. Inedible tallow production was 305 million pounds during July 2022, down 15 percent from June 2022 but up less than 1 percent from July 2021. Technical tallow production was 106 million pounds during July 2022, down 2 percent from June 2022 and down 2 percent from July 2021. Choice white grease production, at 96.4 million pounds during July 2022, decreased 13 percent from June 2022 but increased 15 percent from July 2021.

Dispatch From Omaha: Growers See How Trade Fits Into What They Do

In partnership with the Iowa Corn, Nebraska Corn Growers Association, South Dakota Corn, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the Yeutter Institute at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, U.S. Grains Council (USGC) staff were in Omaha last week to share information about trade policy and market development with farmers in the region.

This third trade school event of 2022 focused on the importance of exports to farm profitability; current issues on the trade agenda; and how participants can talk about overseas markets in their communities and organizations. Speakers included University of Nebraska-Lincoln professors, staff from USGC and NCGA, farmers who have been involved in this work in recent years and the vice president for ethanol at Green Plains, at whose headquarters the event was hosted.

“Trade school highlights valuable partners we have regionally and allows us to bring these big, complex issues to our stakeholders,” said Ellen Zimmerman, USGC director of industry relations.

The 35 registrants in attendance had the chance to discuss and share their opinions about trade-related issues, arming them with resources to take back with them to their home communities.

“Trade remains a hot topic among our members, and the goal of trade school really is to offer context to the headlines and help farmers feel good talking about and engaging with trade issues,” said Melissa Kessler, USGC director of strategic initiatives and engagement. “We are happy to offer these tools to our member organizations and producers directly and to see them get even more involved in the work of building overseas markets.”

The Council looks forward to hosting more regional trade school events in the future with its partners. In the meantime, the Council’s website is a great resource for learning more about trade policy and market development. Visit the Learn About Trade webpage to find backgrounders and web resources on all things trade policy and market development.

Growth Energy Comments on the Development of Washington State’s Proposed Clean Fuel Program

In response to the Washington Department of Ecology’s proposal to implement a statewide clean fuel program, Growth Energy submitted comments calling on the Department to consider the vital role of biofuels in reducing greenhouse gas emissions as it works to reshape Washington’s fuel mix to make it more sustainable.

“We continue to urge the Department to further develop clear policies that recognize the realities of today’s fuel market and examine how homegrown biofuels can immediately contribute to achieving GHG reductions,” wrote Growth Energy Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Chris Bliley. “In fact, a recent study from Air Improvement Resources found that if Washington converted completely to E15, it could reduce GHG emissions by 334,000 tons per year – the equivalent of taking 73,000 cars off the road annually.”

Growth Energy also called on the Department to correct the GREET Model to accurately reflect updated science on land use, credit farmers for field-based farm practices, and include credit generation from carbon capture.

USDA Announces September 2022 Lending Rates for Agricultural Producers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced loan interest rates for September 2022, which are effective Sept. 1, 2022. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) loans provide important access to capital to help agricultural producers start or expand their farming operation, purchase equipment and storage structures or meet cash flow needs.

Operating, Ownership and Emergency Loans
FSA offers farm ownership and operating loans with favorable interest rates and terms to help eligible agricultural producers, whether multi-generational, long-time, or new to the industry, obtain financing needed to start, expand or maintain a family agricultural operation. FSA also offers emergency loans to help producers recover from production and physical losses due to drought, flooding, other natural disasters or quarantine.  For many loan options, FSA sets aside funding for underserved producers, including veterans, beginning, women, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and Hispanic farmers and ranchers.

Interest rates for Operating and Ownership loans for September 2022 are as follows:
    Farm Operating Loans (Direct): 4.125%
    Farm Ownership Loans (Direct): 4.375%
    Farm Ownership Loans (Direct, Joint Financing): 2.500%
    Farm Ownership Loans (Down Payment): 1.500%
    Emergency Loan (Amount of Actual Loss): 3.750 %

FSA also offers guaranteed loans through commercial lenders at rates set by those lenders.

You can find out which of these loans may be right for you by using our Farm Loan Discovery Tool (also available in Spanish).

Commodity and Storage Facility Loans
Additionally, FSA provides low-interest financing to producers to build or upgrade on-farm storage facilities and purchase handling equipment and loans that provide interim financing to help producers meet cash flow needs without having to sell their commodities when market prices are low.  Funds for these loans are provided through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and are administered by FSA.

    Commodity Loans (less than one year disbursed): 4.125%
    Farm Storage Facility Loans:
        o Three-year loan terms: 3.125%
        o Five-year loan terms: 2.875%
        o Seven-year loan terms: 2.875%
        o Ten-year loan terms: 2.750%
        o Twelve-year loan terms: 2.875%
    Sugar Storage Facility Loans (15 years): 3.125%

Pandemic and Disaster Support
FSA broadened the use of the Disaster Set Aside (DSA), normally used in the wake of natural disasters, to allow farmers with USDA farm loans who are affected by COVID-19, and are determined eligible, to have their next payment set aside. Because of the pandemic’s continued impacts, producers can apply for a second DSA for COVID-19 or a second DSA for a natural disaster for producers with an initial DSA for COVID-19. The COVID-DSA is available for borrowers with installments due before Dec. 31, 2022, and whose installment is not more than 90 days past due when the DSA request is made. The set-aside payment’s due date is moved to the final maturity date of the loan or extended up to 12 months in the case of an annual operating loan. Any principal set-aside will continue to accrue interest until it is repaid. Use of the expanded DSA program can help to improve a borrower’s cashflow in the current production cycle.

FSA also reminds rural communities, farmers and ranchers, families and small businesses affected by the year’s winter storms, drought, hurricanes and other natural disasters that USDA has programs that provide assistance. USDA staff in the regional, state and county offices are prepared to deliver a variety of program flexibilities and other assistance to agricultural producers and impacted communities. Many programs are available without an official disaster designation, including several risk management and disaster recovery options.

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