COVID-19 financial relief for Maine farmers reaches $7.75 million

Tue, 06/30/2020 - 1:30pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Maine farmers have been awarded a total of $7.75 million thus far to help offset the financial harm they have experienced due to COVID-19, according to a June 30 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.

Farmers will receive direct support from two funding sources: The first is $9.5 billion in appropriated funding provided in the CARES Act, which will compensate farmers for losses due to price declines that occurred between mid-January 2020 and mid-April 2020 and provides support for specialty crops. The second is the Commodity Credit Corporation, which will compensate producers for $6.5 billion in losses due to ongoing market disruptions.

To date, the funding has been allocated as follows:

Dairy farmers have been awarded $6,659,343.

Livestock farmers have been awarded $663,232.

Non-Specialty crop farmers have been awarded $410,504.

Specialty crop farmers have been awarded $22,515.

The USDA is continuing to accept applications from farmers through August 28. More information about CFAP and the application process can be found on USDA’s resource page: farmers.gov/cfap.