USDA offers help to local producers suffering from COVID-19 losses

Lewiston dairy farmer Morgan Baldwin said he is optimistic about the future of dairy farms even with COVID-19 issues.

LOGAN – It’s been a rough year for Cache County agricultural producers who have been impacted by the corona virus pandemic. But to help them through these difficult times, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has come up with a program that can help offset their losses and keep them afloat.

Penny Trinca of First Frost Farm weeds her lettuce in a tunnel built to prolong the growing season.

Local farmers and ranchers can now apply for USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program which provides direct payment to offset the impact of COVID-19.

Local Farm Security Agency (FSA) officials are ready to help. They can be contacted by phone, fax or online to assist producers with the application process.

USDA is providing $9.5 billion in appropriated funding to compensate farmers for losses due to price declines that occurred between mid-January 2020 and mid-April 2020, for specialty crops for product that was shipped and spoiled or unpaid product.

The second funding source uses the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act to compensate producers for $6.5 billion in losses due to on-going market disruptions.

Eligible commodities include:

  • Non-specialty crops: malting barley, canola, corn, upland cotton, millet, oats, soybeans, sorghum, sunflowers, durum wheat, and hard red spring wheat
  • Wool
  • Livestock: cattle, hogs, and sheep (lambs and yearlings only)
  • Dairy
  • Specialty crops
    • Fruits: apples, avocados, blueberries, cantaloupe, grapefruit, kiwifruit, lemons, oranges, papaya, peaches, pears, raspberries, strawberries, tangerines, tomatoes, watermelons
    • Vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, dry onions, green onions, peppers, potatoes, rhubarb, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, taro
    • Nuts: almonds, pecans, walnuts
    • Other: beans, mushroom.

To be eligible for payments, a person or legal entity must have an average adjusted gross income of less than $900,000.00 for tax years 2016, 2017, and 2018. However, if 75 percent of their adjusted gross income comes from farming, ranching, or forestry, the AGI limit of $900,000.00 does not apply.

The Hobbs Farm Pumpkin Patch has been around since the ’90’s andthink they have found a niche in the Ag-tourism market.

Persons and legal entities also must:

  • Comply with the provisions of the “Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation” regulations, often called the conservation compliance provisions;
  • If a foreign person, provides land, capital, and a substantial amount of active personal labor to the farming operation; and
  • Not have a controlled substance violation.

For more information or help signing up for the program, contact the Cache County FSA Executive Director Bruce K. Lundquist, County Executive Director at (435) 753-5480 or email bruce.lundquist@usda.gov

 

 

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1 Comment

  • kim m June 14, 2020 at 3:53 am Reply

    I am happy to see the government helping the farmers.They are what keeps us alive.I had to chuckle when i saw the 900,000$ income limit.What local farmer even makes anywhere close to that?Anyway I appreciate our local and state farmers and a lot of people in states like Utah and Idaho do not realize how much cheaper our dairy,grain,and produce prices are than the rest of the nation.Local farming is nothing more than a “labor of love” so thank you to all of you hard working farmers who put so much into it.

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