USDA Announces ‘Pandemic Assistance for Producers’ to Distribute Resources More Equitably

USDA announced that it is establishing new programs and efforts to bring financial assistance to farmers, ranchers, and producers who felt the impact of COVID-19 market disruptions. The new initiative—USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers—will reach a broader set of producers than in previous COVID-19 aid programs. USDA is dedicating at least $6 billion toward the new programs. The Department says it will also develop rules for new programs that will put a greater emphasis on outreach to small and socially disadvantaged producers, specialty crop and organic producers, and timber harvesters, as well as provide support for the food supply chain and producers of renewable fuel, among others. USDA notes that existing programs like the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) will fall within the new initiative and, where statutory authority allows, will be refined to better address the needs of producers.