Farm aid program opens for applications Tuesday

(Gray News) - Farmers and ranchers who have been hurt financially by the coronavirus pandemic have an opportunity to get aid from the federal government starting Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program through Aug. 28.

Farmers and ranchers have been walloped by issues related to the closures of restaurants and schools. They left many farmers without a market for their goods, forcing them to euthanize animals and destroy crops.

Farmers and ranchers whose commodities have sustained a price decline of 5% or greater, or sustained losses because of supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic, are among those targeted for aid. Eligible commodities include certain crops, livestock, wool and dairy.

Those interested in a full list of eligibility guidelines and procedures for aid applications can visit the USDA’s page about the program.

Eligible farmers and ranchers will get one payment, the USDA said.

The program gets its funding via the CARES Act, which provides $19 billion in immediate relief to farmers. This aid includes direct support to farmers and the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, which purchases food from farmers to supply food banks to help feed needy Americans and keep it from going to waste.

Many Americans are facing hardships in a time of record unemployment, with millions out of work and food banks struggling to keep up with demand. The U.S. Census Bureau said 10% of surveyed households said they could not get enough food last week, the Associated Press reported.

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