USDA announces details of $16 billion Coronavirus Food Assistance Program


U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced the details of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which will provide $16 billion in payments to America’s farmers and ranchers.

The payments from the program will go directly to farmers who have suffered a 5 percent or greater price loss and who are facing significant marketing costs due to the coronavirus. Eligible commodities include cattle, hog, dairy, specialty crops and row crops. Payments will be capped at $250,000. Additionally, there is a $900,000 adjusted gross income limit for individuals who do not get more than 75 percent of their income from farming.

Eligible farmers will receive 80 percent of the total payment upon approval of the application. The remaining 20 percent will be paid at a later date as funds remain available.

Beginning May 26, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), through the Farm Service Agency (FSA), will be accepting applications from agricultural producers who have suffered losses.

In addition to this direct support to farmers and ranchers, USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box program is partnering with regional and local distributors, whose workforces have been significantly impacted by the closure of many restaurants, hotels, and other food service entities, to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat and deliver boxes to Americans in need.

“America’s farming community is facing an unprecedented situation as our nation tackles the coronavirus. President Trump has authorized USDA to ensure our patriotic farmers, ranchers, and producers are supported and we are moving quickly to open applications to get payments out the door and into the pockets of farmers,” said Secretary Perdue. “These payments will help keep farmers afloat while market demand returns as our nation reopens and recovers. America’s farmers are resilient and will get through this challenge just like they always do with faith, hard work, and determination.”

The $16 billion total comes from the CARES Act and the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act.

You can find more details on payments and eligibility here.