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**The USDA Farm Service Agency published the first notice of funding availability announcing loan payments for eligible borrowers with qualifying direct farm loans under the American Rescue Plan Act.

The official NOFA will be published in the Federal Register this week and USDA expects payments to begin in early June and continue on a rolling basis.

A subsequent notice addressing guaranteed loan balances and direct loans that no longer have collateral and have been previously referred to the Department of Treasury for debt collection, will be published within 120 days.

**The federal appeals court that greatly restricted access to “hardship” exemptions from the U.S. ethanol mandate in 2020 granted an EPA request last week to cancel three exemptions issued on President Trump’s final day in office.

According to www.agriculture.com, after the Biden administration took office, the EPA said the waivers had been issued without analysis of whether they were appropriate.

www.agriculture.com/news/business/appeals-court-vacates-three-last-minute-rfs-waivers

 

**With California farmers plowing under crops and removing trees due to water shortages, irrigation districts are trying to find supplemental supplies.

Districts on the west side of the Central Valley face the prospect of receiving no water from a federal project.

A gubernatorial drought declaration intends to streamline water transfers. Water district officials say transfers could “play a key role” this summer, but won’t prevent significant agricultural losses.