USDA announces $6.5 billion of COVID aid to farmers

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Wednesday that USDA is establishing new financial assistance programs to farmers and ranchers impacted by COVID-19. Vilsack said USDA is providing $6.5 billion of funding for the USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative.

“The goal for us in this effort was to try to provide as much help as equitably as possible, to as many producers as possible who have been hurt by COVID,” Vilsack said.

He said the initiative will be broken into four parts including $6 billion of assistance to a broadened range of ag producers and $500 million of funding to existing USDA programs.

The initiative also reopens CFAP 2 sign up for 60 days starting April 5th and increases payment rates under already approved CFAP 1 assistance to cattle producers.

“They [cattle producers] don’t need to apply, they don’t need to take additional steps,” Vilsack said. “This is essentially providing additional resources to what we anticipate would be about 410,000 producers, about $1.1 billion of additional support in help.”

The department is also developing rules for new programs designed to emphasize support to ‘small and socially disadvantaged’ producers. Vilsack made his comments on a National Association of Farm Broadcasting media call.

  • This are great news for us the small farmers and or ranchers but it’s sadly that since there are more money to help us in this situation caused by COVID-19 here in PR are many, farmers including me and other women that haven’t had received any help and or payment for the ones we had apply. We had supply all the information require by the corresponding agency’s . It’s been a hard situation for us to keep on track with our farms, crops, productions for our clients, community, and family. Sincerely I don’t understand what is happening with the designated agencia here in PR to work with our applications, please can someone help, the only thing I and the other farmers to whom I had talk is someone that can hear, help and make that this help can reach us in time, not waiting so long because if not it might be to late for us to keep up the good work, production and economic going in Lares, PR. Thank you

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