The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced plans to establish programs within the next 60 days to deliver additional financial relief to farmers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new assistance is part of the Pandemic Assistance for Producers Program the agency announced in March to fill gaps not addressed through previous rounds of assistance and direct additional relief to agriculture.
Within the next two months, USDA plans to implement programs that include:
- Additional support for dairy farmers and processors including a $400 million Dairy Donation, additional pandemic payments targeted to dairy farmers that have demonstrated losses that have not been covered by previous pandemic assistance, and about $580 million in supplemental Dairy Margin Coverage for small and medium farms.
- $200 million for small, family-owned timber harvesting and hauling businesses.
- $700 million for biofuels producers.
- Assistance for poultry and livestock producers left out of previous rounds, including contract growers of poultry and livestock and poultry producers who were forced to euthanize animals during the pandemic.
- $700 million in Pandemic Response and Safety Grants to reimburse producers, processors, distributors, and farmers markets for personal protective equipment and other worker protection measures.
- Up to $20 million in additional organic cost share assistance, including for producers who are transitioning to organic.