Third round of pandemic payments begins to flow to farmers and ranchers


By Chuck Abbott, Successful Farming - 4/6/2021


The Biden administration has begun sending pandemic payments of more than $5.6 billion to cattle and crop producers, opening the third round of coronavirus relief to farmers and ranchers in 10 months, said a USDA spokesman on Monday. The USDA, trying to reach minority farmers and others left out of previous aid programs, said producers can apply until June.


The USDA is offering $2 million to grassroots organizations and public institutions to encourage socially disadvantaged farmers to enroll in USDA programs. “We know that we need partners to make that happen,” said Zach Ducheneaux, head of the Farm Service Administration.


Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said two weeks ago that the USDA wanted to reach “a broader set of producers,” including minority farmers, small and medium-size producers, and farmers who grow “less traditional crops.” A review found gaps and disparities in how aid was distributed in the first two rounds in 2020, he said...


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