May 20, 2020– The Maryland Farm Bureau welcomes today’s announcement from the United States Department of Agriculture detailing how $16 billion in direct payments to farmers from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program will be distributed.
Payments will go directly to farmers who have suffered a 5 percent or greater price loss and who are facing significant marketing costs due to the coronavirus. Eligible commodities include cattle, hog, dairy, specialty crops and row crops. Payments will be limited to $250,000 per person.
“This aid is vital for Maryland farmers as many face unprecedented struggles and mounting losses,” said Maryland Farm Bureau President, Wayne Stafford. “We are grateful to the Administration and Congress for hearing American agriculture’s need as we try to recover from the breakdown of our normal distribution channels and lost markets.”
Background on COVID-19 Impact:
- Farm bankruptcies increased 23% in March 2020 compared to a year earlier.
- By mid-April 2020:
- Class IV Milk prices fell 35%
- Class III Milk prices fell 12%
- Corn futures fell 21%.
- Soybean futures fell 14%.
- Wheat futures fell 11%.
Background on CFAP Direct Payments:
- Direct support sign-ups will begin on May 26, 2020, through local Farm Service Agency offices.
- There is a payment limitation of $250,000 per individual as well as a $900,000 adjusted gross income limit for individuals who do not derive 75% or more of their income from farming.
- Corporations with up to three individuals actively engaged in farming will be eligible to receive up to three payment limits.
- Eligible farmers will receive 80% of the total payment, up to the payment limit, upon approval of the application. The remaining 20% will be paid at a later date as funds remain available.
- The $16 billion includes $9.5 billion appropriated by the CARES Act and $6.5 billion from the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act