United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Jul 13, 2024

§ 1924.
Conservation loan and loan guarantee program
(a)
In general

The Secretary may make or guarantee qualified conservation loans to eligible borrowers under this section.

(b)
Definitions
In this section:
(1)
Qualified conservation loan

The term “qualified conservation loan” means a loan, the proceeds of which are used to cover the costs to the borrower of carrying out a qualified conservation project.

(2)
Qualified conservation project

The term “qualified conservation project” means conservation measures that address provisions of a conservation plan of the eligible borrower.

(3)
Conservation plan
The term “conservation plan” means a plan, approved by the Secretary, that, for a farming or ranching operation, identifies the conservation activities that will be addressed with loan funds provided under this section, including—
(A)
the installation of conservation structures to address soil, water, and related resources;
(B)
the establishment of forest cover for sustained yield timber management, erosion control, or shelter belt purposes;
(C)
the installation of water conservation measures;
(D)
the installation of waste management systems;
(E)
the establishment or improvement of permanent pasture;
(F)
compliance with section 3812 of title 16; and
(G)
other purposes consistent with the plan, including the adoption of any other emerging or existing conservation practices, techniques, or technologies approved by the Secretary.
(c)
Eligibility
(1)
In general

The Secretary may make or guarantee loans to farmers or ranchers in the United States, farm cooperatives, private domestic corporations, partnerships, joint operations, trusts, limited liability companies, or such other legal entities as the Secretary considers appropriate that are controlled by farmers or ranchers and engaged primarily and directly in agricultural production in the United States.

(2)
Requirements

To be eligible for a loan under this section, applicants shall meet the requirements in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of section 1922(a)(1) of this title.

(d)
Priority
In making or guaranteeing loans under this section, the Secretary shall give priority to—
(1)
qualified beginning farmers or ranchers and socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers;
(2)
owners or tenants who use the loans to convert to sustainable or organic agricultural production systems; and
(3)
producers who use the loans to build conservation structures or establish conservation practices to comply with section 3812 of title 16.
(e)
Limitations applicable to loan guarantees
The portion of a loan that the Secretary may guarantee under this section shall be—
(1)
80 percent of the principal amount of the loan; or
(2)
in the case of a producer that is a qualified socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher or a beginning farmer or rancher, 90 percent of the principal amount of the loan.
(f)
Administrative provisions

The Secretary shall ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, that loans made or guaranteed under this section are distributed across diverse geographic regions.

(g)
Credit eligibility

The provisions of paragraphs (1) and (3) of section 1983 of this title shall not apply to loans made or guaranteed under this section.

(h)
Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this section $150,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2014 through 2023.

(Pub. L. 87–128, title III, § 304, Aug. 8, 1961, 75 Stat. 308; Pub. L. 90–488, § 2, Aug. 15, 1968, 82 Stat. 770; Pub. L. 92–419, title I, § 102, Aug. 30, 1972, 86 Stat. 657; Pub. L. 95–334, title I, § 102, Aug. 4, 1978, 92 Stat. 421; Pub. L. 101–624, title XVIII, § 1802(a), Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3817; Pub. L. 102–237, title V, § 501(a), Dec. 13, 1991, 105 Stat. 1865; Pub. L. 104–127, title VI, § 603, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1085; Pub. L. 110–234, title V, § 5002, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1142; Pub. L. 110–246, § 4(a), title V, § 5002, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1904; Pub. L. 113–79, title V, §§ 5001(c)(1), 5002, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 833; Pub. L. 115–334, title V, § 5102, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4669.)
cite as: 7 USC 1924