USVI FSA, NRCS, RD Updates for October 2021-USDA Service Centers Provide Free, One-on-One Help for Farmers

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US Department of Agriculture

USVI FSA Updates -  October 20, 2021

Farm Service Agency

USDA Service Centers Provide Free, One-on-One Help for Farmers

At USDA, we are committed to helping farmers complete loan applications, environmental reviews, and other paperwork free of charge. One-on-one support is available at more than 2,300 USDA Service Centers nationwide. USDA’s Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service staff are usually co-located at these Service Centers and can help guide farmers to the best USDA assistance based on their unique goals, whether it is loans, conservation programs, or insurance.

Service Center staff can guide farmers through the process of preparing and submitting required paperwork on their own, with no need to hire a paid preparer. Language translation service is available in all USDA Service Centers, so one-on-one assistance with a Service Center employee can be translated in real time for farmers requiring it. And while some program and loan applications do have an administrative fee for filing, there is never a charge for preparation services provided by USDA staff.

Farmers who work with the USDA Service Center can:

  • Establish their farm by registering for a farm number, which is required for USDA programs and assistance.
  • Learn how to meet conservation compliance provisions.
  • Verify eligibility for USDA programs.
  • Discuss their business and conservation goals.
  • Create a conservation plan.
  • Fill out and file loan and program applications.

We are committed to delivering USDA programs and services to America’s farmers and ranchers while taking safety measures in response to COVID-19. We encourage you to check the status of your local USDA Service Center and make an appointment to discuss your business needs.

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USDA Expands to Include Farm Records

Producers with accounts can now access farm records and maps online, the latest self-service feature added to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) website.

You can quickly and easily access your land information in real time by desktop computer, tablet or phone. Capabilities include:

  • View, print and export detailed farm records such as cropland, base acres, yields, CRP acres, land ownership details, and much more;
  • View, print and export farm/tract maps that can be provided to lenders, chemical or fertilizer providers, and FSA for reporting acreage and crop insurance agents; and
  • Export common land unit (field) boundaries as ESRI shapefiles.

The ability to access these records on demand without a visit to the service center saves you time and money. now includes the most popular functionalities from FSAFarm+, the FSA portal for producers, while providing enhanced functionality and an improved user experience. A new enhancement expands the scope of accessibility to include farmers and ranchers who are members of an entity, as well as people with a power of attorney form (FSA-211) on file with FSA.

Managing USDA Business Online

Using, producers, entities and those acting on their behalf can also:

  • View, upload, download, and e-sign conservation documents.
  • Request financial assistance, including submitting a program application.
  • View and submit conservation requests.
  • View technical references and submit questions.
  • Access information on current and past conservation practices, plans and contracts.
  • Report practice completion and request practice certification.
  • View farm loan and interest information (producers only).

Future plans include adding the ability to import and view other shapefiles, such as precision agriculture planting boundaries.

To access your information, you’ll will need a USDA eAuth account to login to After obtaining an eAuth account, producers should visit and sign into the site’s authenticated portal via the Sign In/Sign Up link at the top right of the website. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Edge are the recommended browsers to access the feature.

In addition to the self-service features available by logging into, the website also has ample information on USDA programs, including pandemic assistance, farm loans, disaster assistance, conservation programs and crop insurance. Recently, USDA updated the navigation and organization of the site as well as added some new webpages, including “Get Involved,” “Common Forms,” and “Translations.” Learn more about these changes.

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Farmers and ranchers can use the Farm Loan Discovery Tool on to find information on USDA farm loans that may best fit their operations.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers a variety of loan options to help farmers finance their operations. From buying land to financing the purchase of equipment, FSA loans can help.

USDA conducted field research in eight states, gathering input from farmers and FSA farm loan staff to better understand their needs and challenges.

How the Tool Works

Farmers who are looking for financing options to operate a farm or buy land can answer a few simple questions about what they are looking to fund and how much money they need to borrow. After submitting their answers, farmers will receive information on farm loans that best fit their specific needs. The loan application and additional resources also will be provided.

Farmers can download application quick guides that outline what to expect from preparing an application to receiving a loan decision. There are four guides that cover loans to individuals, entities, and youth, as well as information on microloans. The guides include general eligibility requirements and a list of required forms and documentation for each type of loan. These guides can help farmers prepare before their first USDA service center visit with a loan officer.

Farmers can access the Farm Loan Discovery Tool by visiting and clicking the “Start” button. Follow the prompts and answer five simple questions to receive loan information that is applicable to your agricultural operation. The tool is built to run on any modern browser like Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or the Safari browser, and is fully functional on mobile devices. It does not work in Internet Explorer.


In 2018, USDA unveiled, a dynamic, mobile-friendly public website combined with an authenticated portal where farmers will be able to apply for programs, process transactions, and manage accounts.

The Farm Loan Discovery Tool is one of many resources on to help connect farmers to information that can help their operations. Earlier this year, USDA launched the My Financial Information feature, which enables farmers to view their loan information, history, payments, and alerts by logging into the website.

USDA is building for farmers, by farmers. In addition to the interactive farm loan features, the site also offers a Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool. Farmers can visit to find disaster assistance programs that can help their operation recover from natural disasters.

For more information, contact your St. Croix County USDA Service Center at 340-773-9146 or visit

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Natural Resources Conservation Service

USDA-NRCS Announces 2022 Sign up for Conservation Programs to Benefit Caribbean Area Soil, Water, Plants & Animals


Attention Puerto Rico & U.S. Virgin Islands Farmers, Ranchers & Forest Landowners! Do you want to:

  • Improve your soils’ health and production?
  • Conserve your farms’ soil and water?
  • Create or enhance habitat for pollinators & other wildlife on your land?

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offers voluntary conservation programs to help Caribbean Area farmers and landowners secure cleaner water and air, healthier soil and enhanced wildlife habitat while maintaining a vibrant agricultural business.

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to help apply conservation practices on eligible agricultural land. Through EQIP, NRCS helps farmers in Puerto Rico and the USVI to improve agricultural production and environmental quality with practices like microirrigation, livestock watering facilities, conservation covers, brush management, silvopasture, high tunnels, prescribed grazing, nutrient management, wildlife habitat planting, rainwater catchments, and over 100 other practices.

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is a voluntary program that helps farmers build on their existing conservation efforts while strengthening operations. CSP provides 5-year contracts with minimum annual payments of $1500, and funding for additional conservation practices and enhancements like mulching to improve soil health, no-till to reduce soil erosion, or riparian forest buffers to enhance wildlife habitat. Whether you are looking to improve grazing conditions, increase crop yields, or develop wildlife habitat, we can custom design a CSP plan to help you meet those goals.

CSP and EQIP applications are accepted year-round, however, NRCS sets application “cut-off” or submission deadlines to evaluate, rank and approve eligible applications. The following are the cut-off dates for fiscal year 2022:

  • CSP & EQIP Period 1 cut-off date: October 29, 2021
  • CSP & EQIP Period 2 cut-off date: April 29, 2022

For information on NRCS Programs and Services in the Caribbean Area visit or contact your local USDA-NRCS office.

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Puerto Rican Poultry Operation Rises from Storm Devastation


On September 23, 2021, USDA celebrated a story of resiliency at Granja Avicola Pujols Corp. (Pujols Poultry Farm), which was ravaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria as they tore through the Caribbean within 12 days of each other in September 2017.

Granja Avicola Pujols Corp. is an agri-business owned and operated by Yanice L. Deynes and Obed Pujols that produces eggs on a 30-acre farm located in San Sebastián, Puerto Rico. Yanice and Obed are young farmers who have embraced several opportunities provided by USDA to bring their farm back from disaster stronger than ever.

Over the past 10 years, NRCS has provided conservation and disaster recovery assistance to Granja Avicola Pujols through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Starting in 2012, NRCS helped the farm build a composting facility, roofs and covers, roof runoff structures, and heavy use area protection for their poultry operation. After hurricane Maria devastated their flocks, NRCS helped the couple build an animal mortality facility and another composting facility to handle the increase in waste production. Learn more…

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Rural Development

USDA seeks applications to improve solid waste management in rural areas

USDA Rural Development is now accepting grant applications to reduce water pollution in rural areas by improving solid waste management under the Solid Waste Management Grants program.

USDA provides the grants to organizations that offer technical assistance or training to help rural communities manage solid waste sites and eliminate water pollution. Eligible applicants include public entities, nonprofit organizations and academic institutions in rural areas and towns with 10,000 or fewer residents. Special consideration may be given to projects serving areas with fewer than 5,500 or 2,500 people, multiple states or lower-income populations. Funds may be used to:

  • Evaluate current landfill conditions to identify threats to water resources;
  • Provide technical assistance or training to enhance the operation and maintenance of active landfills;
  • Provide technical assistance or training to help communities reduce the amount of solid waste coming into a landfill; and,
  • Provide technical assistance or training to prepare for the closure and future use of a landfill site.

Projects should be completed in 12 months. Applications must be submitted through by Dec. 31, 2021.

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USDA seeks applications to support rural business development, job creation

USDA Rural Development is now accepting applications to support economic development and create jobs for people in rural areas. The funding is available under the Rural Business Development Grant program for eligible entities to support business opportunity and enterprise projects in rural communities. Eligible entities are rural towns, communities, state agencies, authorities, nonprofits, public institutions of higher education and non-profit cooperatives.

Business opportunity projects are used to identify and analyze business opportunities that will use local rural materials or human resources. Such projects must be consistent with any local and area-wide community and economic development strategic plans and are used to support other economic development activities in the project area. Projects include the establishment of business support centers or to finance job training and leadership development in rural areas. Funding for business enterprise projects must be used to finance or develop small and emerging businesses in rural areas. Learn more…

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USDA  St. Croix Service Center

USDA-Farm Service Agency

4401 Estate Sion Hill, Suite 2

Christiansted, VI 00820-4245

Phone: 340-773-9146 ext. 100
Fax: 855-478-8386

Mark Carlton, District Director

Mark Carlton 352-448-2310

Madison Charles, Program Technician

Madison Charles 340-773-9146 ext. 100

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.