The Agriculture Department is providing $530 million in additional payments to farmers holding Farm Service Agency loans who are considered to be at financial risk. 

USDA estimated 3,500 borrowers would receive the latest round of payments funded out of the Inflation Reduction Act. 

“USDA continues to make progress on our goal to provide producers access to the tools they need to help get back to a financially viable path and ultimately succeed as thriving agricultural businesses,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. 

The new payments, which are earmarked for holders of guaranteed loans, "will provide a fresh start for distressed borrowers with guaranteed farm loans and will give them the opportunity to generate long-term stability and success.”

About $1.15 billion has already been disbursed to 20,000 other borrowers. The IRA, enacted in 2022, includes $3.1 billion for distressed borrowers.

In the latest round of assistance, farmers who were behind on a guaranteed loan as of Oct. 18, 2022, will receive a payment to cover the delinquency, according to FSA.

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Farmers who have had their guaranteed loans restructured any time since March 1, 2020, will receive a payment to cover either the annual installment on the restructured loan or the remaining balance, whichever is less. 

Farmers also could get payments for deferred amounts on guaranteed loans. The deferrals or some other payment extension had to have occurred between March 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2022. 

The announcement comes as House Republicans are attempting to claw back $2 billion of the $3.1 billion in the IRA in the fiscal 2024 appropriations bill.

The department made previous funding announcements in October, when it said it had already paid out $800 million, and in May, when it announced $130 million had been obligated.

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