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POLICY WATCH

CARES Act – Economic Impact Payment

NEFB continues to work through the implications of the passage of the federal stimulus/COVID-19 relief bill for farmers and ranchers. This week the Internal Revenue Service updated guidance for the Economic Impact Payment (EIP) of which Nebraska farmers and ranchers will be eligible for. Here are more details on the EIP

Payments:

  • A one-time $1,200 check for an individual making up to $75,000 per year or $2,400 for couples earning less than $150,000. After that, payments are scaled down until they reach a $99,000 income threshold for an individual or $198,000 for a couple and then phased out altogether.
  • It also provides an additional $500 per child. For individuals finding themselves unemployed, the bill provides an additional $600 boost in unemployment benefits for four months.

Distribution:

  • Payments will begin being made in the first few weeks in April and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people.
  • Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file to receive a payment. Instead, payments will be automatically deposited into their bank accounts.
  • However, some people who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the economic impact payments.

Full Details:

www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know

SBA Leaves Agriculture Out of Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program

One of the other main loan programs under the Small Business Administration (SBA) authorized through the federal COVID-19 relief bill is the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. SBA’s initial guidance on the rule exempted agriculture from eligibility, however, members of Congress have indicated agriculture interests should be eligible for the program. Nebraska Farm Bureau, members of the Nebraska Congressional, and others are currently working to secure farmer, rancher eligibility for the program. Learn More about EIDL here: www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/economic-injury-disaster-loan-emergency-advance

Nebraska Hemp Program Update

Hemp Program applications have been coming into the Nebraska Department of Agriculture since they became available on February 3, 2020. Listings of the licensees are available at www.nebraska.gov/hemp. With the outdoor planting season just around the corner, it is time for hemp cultivators to start thinking about the reporting requirements for their hemp crop throughout the year. All hemp plantings, regardless of size, must be registered with your local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) office (you can find your local FSA office here). The FSA will assign specific numbers which will be used to develop lot numbers for each variety or cultivar of hemp being cultivated. These lot numbers must be reported to the NDA Hemp Program on the Post-Planting Site Report that is due 10 days after registering with the FSA. To assist licensees with understanding their obligations throughout the growing season, NDA sends the Cultivator Timeline of Events document with each hemp cultivator license issued. NDA encourages all licensees to check the Hemp Program web page or give them a call at (402) 471-2351 for any questions related to compliance with the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act or the Nebraska State Hemp Plan. Several EPA-registered pesticides have now been approved for use on hemp. NDA will continue to update the approved pesticide list found here as more become available. It is important to remember with any pesticide application; the label is the law. Make sure you read and understand the requirements on all pesticide labels. This includes ensuring that the crop/site you are applying to is listed on the label as well as the target pest. More information concerning the use of pesticides in Nebraska can be found on the Pesticide Program home page.
*Update courtesy of the Nebraska Dept. of Agriculture

USDA to Open Signup for CRP-Grasslands

The Unites Stated Department of Agriculture has announced that farmers and ranchers may apply to enroll grasslands in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Grasslands signup which began March 16. The signup runs through May15.

Read More Here

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