Hemp Farmers Now Eligible for New Coronavirus Relief Funds
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture is now including hemp farmers on their list of eligibility to receive coronavirus relief funds.
- Originally excluded from this relief effort, hemp farmers are now being encourage to apply for assistance.
- The application deadline is set for December 11th, 2020.
Hemp farmers rejoice this week as they are now considered eligible for the new coronavirus relief funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This $14 billion relief effort is intended to provide additional direct assistance to agricultural producers who are burdened with market disruptions and other underlying costs.
The USDA had originally elected to exclude hemp farmers from receiving financial help, stating that hemp crops did not undergo the required 5% or greater decrease in price necessary to be considered for the relief funds.
After a little more consideration, along with arguments from members of the Hemp Roundtable, and the USDA is now encouraging hemp farmers to apply for assistance.
Hemp farmers and producers can apply for the relief fund, named Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2), through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency. The application deadline is set for December 11th.
The funds for CFAP 2 are provided by the Commodity Credit Corporation along with the CARES Act. It’s ultimate goal is to support producers of speciality crops, row crops, livestock, and other agricultural commodities.
When you do the math, it’s understandable why the USDA had originally decided to exclude hemp farmers from the relief fund. After all, there are many more farmers out there who need financial relief and produce crops that are a staple in our economy.
However, it can be assumed that the wildfires in California and Oregon play a role in the USDA’s change of heart — and it should. California and Oregon are 2 of the biggest hemp producers in the U.S. and have witnessed financial losses that reach into the millions. If it weren’t for these farmers now being able to apply for relief, the hemp industry would have certainly felt the kickback.