Help available to farmers who suffered losses due to pandemic

Local farmers and agricultural producers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for financial assistance through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, according to a news release from State District 69 Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, and state District 73 Rep. Steve Davisson, R-Salem.

Lucas said the initiative is providing $16 billion in direct relief payments for those in the agriculture industry experiencing income losses as a result of decreased demand for their products. 

To be eligible for assistance, producers of agricultural commodities must have experienced at least a 5% price decline or had losses due to market supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19 and face additional significant market costs.

Eligible products include specialty and nonspecialty crops, wool, livestock and dairy, Davisson said.

Applications for the program are open through Aug. 28 and available through the Farm Service Agency at local USDA Service Centers. For information, including eligibility requirements and finding local service centers, visit

Additionally, the USDA is supporting agricultural producers by purchasing $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat to be distributed to food banks, community and faith-based organizations and other nonprofits who serve those in need.