$50 million in COVID-19 aid awarded to Maine farmers

Sat, 12/12/2020 - 9:30am

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Maine farmers have been awarded a total of $50,329,634 to date to help offset the financial harm they have experienced due to COVID-19, according to a news release.

    The funding is provided through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), created through the CARES Act, which will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to deliver relief to America’s farmers.

    In addition to facilitating the Farmers to Families Food Box program, CFAP is providing vital financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a five-percent-or-greater price decline due to COVID-19 and face significant additional marketing costs as a result of lower demand, surplus production, and disruptions to shipping patterns and the orderly marketing of commodities.

    CFAP payments are available for eligible producers of specialty crop commodities categorized as either sales commodities or flat-rate crops.

    Sales commodities have payment calculations that use a sales-based approach, where producers of eligible commodities are paid based on five payment gradations associated with their 2019 sales. Eligible fruits, vegetables, horticulture, tree nuts, honey, and maple sap are categorized as sales-based commodities.

    Flat-rate crops either do not meet the five-percent-or-greater national price decline trigger noted above or do not have data available to calculate a price change, but will have CFAP 2 payments calculated based on eligible acres of the crop planted in 2020.

    To date, the funding has been allocated as follows:

    Dairy farmers have been awarded $13,153,412.

    Livestock farmers have been awarded $2,223,469.

    Non-Specialty crop farmers have been awarded $706,936.

    Specialty crop farmers have been awarded $15,128,560.

    Eggs/Broilers have been awarded $36,519.

    Sales Commodities have been awarded $17,800,886.

    Acreage-based crops have been awarded $1,279,852.