• Last modified 796 days ago (June 4, 2020)


Programs to help ag businesses

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has rolled out two assistance programs for farmers, ranchers, and rural businesses.

Farmers and ranchers can apply for the USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which provides direct payments to offset impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Up to $16 billion in financial assistance will be available for producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered price declines of 5% or greater and face significant marketing costs because of lower demand, surplus production, and disruptions in shipping and marketing.

Farm Service Agency has online tools to help complete applications, and staff members are available by phone or fax.

Aug. 28 is the deadline to apply.

USDA will make up to $1 billion available in loan guarantees to help rural businesses with working capital needs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Agricultural producers not eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans may receive funding under the USDA Business and Industry CARES Act Program.

USDA will provide 90% guarantees on loans through the program.

Loan application and guarantee fees are set at 2% of the loan.

Appraisals completed within two years of the loan application will be accepted, discounting of collateral will not be required for working capital loans, and working capital loans can have terms of up to 10 years.

Loans are to support rural businesses including agricultural producers that were in operation on Feb. 15, and must be used as working capital to prevent, prepare for, or respond to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Applications will be considered in the order received, but if demands for funds exceed availability, priority points might be assigned to projects.

Eligible applicants should contact their local USDA Rural Development state office to apply. Application deadline is Sept. 30, 2021.

Last modified June 4, 2020