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$14 billion available for farmers effected by coronavirus

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on all people and industries in the state. Kansas farmers and ranchers are still trying to make up lost revenue from the year due to major price drops, a falling economy and the shut down of packing plants across the U.S.

In May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture introduced the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which helps fill in the financial gaps for food producers in the state that need monetary support. Now, more money has been made available for the program in round 2 of the funding.

More than $10 billion was distributed to producers in the U.S. in the first round of CFAP funding; with more than $458 million going to producers in Kansas. You can see a breakdown of where the money went by commodity and state here.

While many producers took advantage of the program in Kansas, for some it wasn’t enough. In August, USDA officials visited Kansas to speak with producers first hand. They heard from Kansans that more financial help was needed.

“There’s still an impact to a lot of commodities. They’re still impacted by the effects of covid-19,” Richard Fordyce, Farm Service Agency Administrator with the USDA said in August.

Because of the continuing impact, an additional $14 billion has now been made available for round 2 of CFAP funding.

The Kansas Livestock Association says they have heard from many KLA members that the program has greatly helped during this tough time.

“This isn’t something that they want to do — want to have to take advantage of,” explained Matt Teagarden, Chief Executive Officer of the Kansas Livestock Association.

But, Teagarden said, it’s been necessary for producers to request the help due to the pandemic.

The amount of money given to producers depends on how much product is produced. The most a person or entity can receive is $250,000. Many commodities from crops to livestock to fish are eligible for assistance. You can see the full list of eligible commodities here.

“I think it reflects the diversity of agriculture, whether it’s in Kansas or across the country,” added Teagarden. “It recognizes that all ag producers have been impacted by the pandemic, the response to it, the market disruptions.”

To apply for round 2 of the CFAP funding click here. Applications are accepted now through December 11, 2020.

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