Summary: S.555 — 94th Congress (1975-1976)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Conference report filed in Senate (07/21/1975)

(Conference report filed in Senate, S. Rept. 94-290)

Authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to designate, under the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, any area in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands as an emergency area if he finds that a natural disaster has occurred in said area which substantially affected farming, ranching, or aquaculture operations.

Defines "aquaculture" to mean husbandry of aquatic organisms under a controlled or selected environment.

Permits loans to be made for crop or livestock changes deemed desirable by the applicant.

Provides that loans made or insured under such Act shall be at a rate of interest not in excess of 5 percent on loans up to the amount of the actual loss caused by the disaster.

States that if security is not available because of the disaster, the Secretary shall accept as security such collateral as is available, a portion or all of which may have depreciated in value due to the disaster and which in the opinion of the Secretary, together with his confidence in the repayment ability of the applicant, is adequate security for the loan. Provides that for any disaster occurring after January 1, 1975, the Secretary, if the loan is for an operating type purpose, may make the loan repayable at the end of a period of more than seven years, but not more than twenty years, if the Secretary determines that the need of the loan applicant justifies such a longer repayment period.

Permits the Secretary to delegate authority to any State director of the Farmers Home Administration to make emergency loans if the State director finds that a natural disaster has substantially affected twenty-five or less farming, ranching, or aquaculture operations in the area.

States that applicants seeking financial assistance based on production losses must show that a single enterprise which constitutes a basic part of his farming, ranching, or aquaculture operation has sustained at least a 20 percent loss of normal per acre or per animal production as a result of the disaster.

Allows subsequent loans to continue the farming, ranching, or aquaculture operation on an annual basis, for not to exceed five additional years.

Requires that on or before February 15 of each calendar year beginning with calendar year 1976, or such other date as may be specified by the appropriate Committee, the Secretary of Agriculture shall testify before the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry and the House Committee on Agriculture and provide justification in detail of the amount requested in the budget to be appropriated for the next fiscal year for the purposes authorized in the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, as amended, and of the amounts estimated to be utilized during such fiscal year from the Agricultural Credit Insurance Fund and the Rural Development Insurance Fund.