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Undersecretary Northey Gives Update on Federal COVID Funding for Farmers

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Last Friday, USDA announced more than $16 billion in agricultural funding. On Monday, Landus Cooperative participated in a call with USDA Undersecretaries Ibach and Northey to learn more about the programs. 

Northey, former Iowa Secretary of Ag and Land Stewardship, now oversees the FSA offices which will administer the funding which will include:

  • $5.1 billion for cattle 
  • $2.9 billion for dairy 
  • $1.6 billion for hogs
  • $3.9 billion for row crop producers

During a 30-minute call with industry leads Northey said “before I got to D.C. I thought $16 billion was a lot of money. In this situation, $16 billion is not going to be enough to make everyone whole.” Commodity groups requested more than $40 billion from Congress as part of the CARES and Families First programs. USDA requested an additional $10 billion over that request. Congress has the say in funding; USDA is the agency to implement the program. 

He noted the application process is expected to be available in late May. The agency is working to make the application process as easy as possible. The final “rule-making” or details on the applications and formulas for payment are being finalized with the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. 

Payment limits will be $125,000 per commodity and $250,000 for producer entity. 

Northey noted the process is designed to be fast and efficient when rolled out.