As more impacts from the Coronavirus will be felt by everyone, a list of articles and resources can be found below. Many of the sites update frequently, especially the Kentucky websites, so check back for any actions or orders.
Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
Crop Insurance Flexibilities
Late last week, RMA announced some additional COVID-related flexibilities to the federal crop insurance program. Those include:
Interest accrual on premium payments and administrative fees will be waived to the earliest of an additional 60 days of the scheduled payment due date or the termination date on policies with premium billing dates between May 1, 2020, and July 31, 2020. Full details can be found here.
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) recently waived late file fees for an acreage report (FSA-578) when filed within 30 days of the acreage reporting date (ARD). AIPs are allowed to correct some information in these reports, so RMA clarifies that this correction period is also extended. For the 2020 crop year, ARDs that occur on or after May 15, 2020, RMA is extending the correction time period for an acreage report, or other forms due by the ARD, for an additional 30 days. Likewise, for the 2021 crop year ARDs before August 1, 2020, RMA is extending the correction time period for an acreage report, or other forms due by the ARD, for an additional 30 days. However, RMA is not extending the date by which an insured must provide an initial acreage report. Full details can be found here.
Assistance for Small Businesses (Including Farms) Available Through CARES ACT
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
Allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed.
Includes self-employed and independent contractors.
Paycheck Production Program (PPP) provides 100% federally guaranteed loans.
Loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward.
Guidelines about the program are available here.
Farmers may feel the odds are in their favor to stay healthy because of the remote nature of their business, but being wrong can create some serious complications. Most of these issues can be avoided with a formal contingency plan for the farm.
Interstate Travel and Essential Business
Essential Employee Letter to Show if Stopped – Print and fill in this letter for any interstate travel.
Thank you Kentucky Retail Federation for compiling this list:
Additional Farmer Information
Agricultural Producers Encouraged to Visit Farmers.Gov for Updates on Services in Their Community – As proactive health measures are put in effect nationwide to reduce the spread of coronavirus, the USDA is taking measures to ensure the safety of its employees and customers. As a result, access to certain facilities may be limited while remaining open for business. All service center visitors wishing to conduct business with the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other service center agency are encouraged to call their service center to confirm availability for in-person or phone appointments before visiting. Producers can find their service center’s phone number at farmers.gov/service-center-locator. Agricultural producers should visit farmers.gov/coronavirus for the latest information on available services and the latest status of service centers impacted by these locally-specific health measures.