The recent continuing resolution passed by Congress provides temporary funding for government operations through Dec. 3, but it includes some provisions that benefit agriculture, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Included in the resolution was an extension of the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus, also known as WHIP+. Scott Bennett, director of congressional relations with AFBF, said in a recent edition of Newsline, AFBF’s podcast, that the program allows producers hit by a natural disaster to get some much-needed assistance.
The extension includes the 2020 and 2021 crop years, with funding totaling $10 billion for a variety of natural disasters.
“Any producer that suffered damage from a qualifying disaster in 2020 and 2021, such as wildfires, hurricanes, derechos, drought or more, may qualify for a payment to recoup the lost value of those crops,” Bennett said. “Please contact your local FSA office for more information on your qualification for this relief and how to apply if you do.”
Bennett added that another USDA program is available to help producers offset costs associated with COVID-19 safety measures.
“The Pandemic Response and Safety Grant program assists small businesses in certain commodity areas, including specialty crops, meat and other processors and distributors, with the costs of preventing further spread of COVID-19, such as providing PPE, facilitating social distancing and retrofitting facilities,” he said. “This grant funding is intended to offset the costs of these COVID mitigation activities.”
Those interested in applying can find more information at www.ams.usda.gov/grants.