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USDA Has $16B for Farmer and Rancher Pandemic Aid

The pandemic disrupted some agricultural businesses, and the $16B Coronavirus Food Assistance Program offers aid to many Fla. farmers and ranchers affected.

MIAMI – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced details of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which will provide up to $16 billion in relief to America’s farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Florida’s farmers and ranchers are integral to our nation and our domestic food security, and it is vital to provide them with support during this public health crisis,” U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) said after the announcement.

Beginning May 26, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – through the Farm Service Agency (FSA) – will accept applications from agricultural producers who suffered a 5%-or-greater price decline due to COVID-19 and additional significant marketing costs as a result of lower demand, surplus production and shipping pattern disruptions.

Applying for assistance

Producers can apply for assistance now. Additional information and the application forms can be found on the USDA’s website at Producers of all eligible commodities will apply through their local FSA office.

Documentation to support the application and certification may be requested. FSA says it streamlined the signup process and does not require an acreage report at the time of application, and a USDA farm number may not be needed immediately. Applications will be accepted through Aug. 28, 2020.

Currently, certain products – nursery, cut flowers, herbs, aquaculture products and some other crops – are ineligible for assistance through CFAP. USDA is actively seeking feedback from producers of these products to consider whether they may become eligible for CFAP payments.

Information on how to submit comments or get more information regarding the ineligible products can also be found on the USDA’s website.

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