If you are planning to apply for a direct payment from the Agriculture Department to make up for farm losses caused by the pandemic, it’s time to prepare the materials you will need.
The USDA hosted a webinar today regarding the payments, which will come through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. Officials did not say when signup will begin, but said farmers will work with their local Farm Service Agency office to sign up and the necessary forms are available on this USDA webpage. Farmers are encouraged to begin filling out the documents.
If a farm is already an existing FSA customer, most of the information is likely already on file at the local service center. FSA offices will only be taking phone appointments at this time, so do not send information without first contacting the office.
The application form will be added to the webpage when signup is announced.
Click here for a recording of the 15-minute webinar.
We are also awaiting details about how losses will be calculated and what the payment caps will be. Our sister organization, Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, and others pushed back hard against limitations on payments, and USDA has since said those caps will be made higher.
The DBA team is watching closely for updates. We want our farmers, of all sizes, to have every opportunity to gain financial support for their businesses so that they recover from the hit taken because of the health crisis