Ag Commissioner encourages Miss. farmers to sign up for food assistance program

Ag Commissioner encourages Miss. farmers to sign up for food assistance program
Andy Gipson, state commissioner of agriculture (Source: WLOX)

JACKSON, Miss. (WDAM) - Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson is encouraging farmers in Mississippi to sign up for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.

CFAP was set up by the Trump administration to provide direct payments to farmers and ranchers whose businesses have been greatly impacted by COVID-19.

“I encourage all of our farmers across the state to take advantage of this unique opportunity,” said Gipson. “This program will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to producers impacted by COVID-19 and is available to livestock, dairy, specialty crop and non-specialty crop producers.”

To be eligible for payment, producers must have suffered a 5% or greater price loss over a specified time as a result of the pandemic or face additional significant marketing costs for inventories.

Also, producers will have to certify that they meet the Adjusted Gross Income limitation of $900,000 unless at least 75% or more of their income is made up of farming, ranching or forestry-related activities.

Producers must be in compliance with Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation provisions, as well.

There is a $250,000 payment limitation per person or entity for all commodities combined, and applicants who are corporations, limited liability companies or limited partnerships may qualify for additional payment limits where members actively provide personal labor or management for the farming operation.

Producers will receive 80% of their maximum total payment upon approval of the application to ensure the availability of funding throughout the application period.

The remaining part of the payment will be paid at a later date as funds remain available in order to not exceed the payment limit.

The application process for payments will begin on May 26.

For a complete list of eligible commodities, payment rates and application submissions, producers should get in touch with their local Farm Service Agency office.

For more information about CFAP, click here.

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