Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Many U.S. farmers miss out on aid

Even though the federal government has handed out $23 billion in COVID-19 relief, many farmers in the United States got little or nothing.

Most of the money went to grain producers and others who routinely sign up for government programs. Significantly missing out are fruit and vegetable growers.

Forty-three per cent of the farmers collected $20 billion from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.

In Nebraska, 99.7 percent of farmers received at least one CFAP payment; in New York State only 23 per cent and in Florida 19 per cent.


On March 24, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced changes to the program and plans for additional outreach to minority farmers, underserved producers, and smaller and medium-sized operations.

“The pandemic affected all of agriculture, but many farmers did not benefit from previous rounds of pandemic-related assistance,” Vilsack said. 

“The Biden-Harris administration is committed to helping as many producers as possible, as equitably as possible.” 

The Times Union newspaper in Albany, N.Y., found American farms have received more than $23.8 billion in direct pandemic farm relief payments through CFAP and more than $14 billion in Paycheck Protection Program loans.