BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s agriculture commissioner is urging the state’s farmers and ranchers to turn in their applications for federal coronavirus assistance ahead of next month’s deadline, and he’s worried some who are eligible may be missing out on available aid.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced in May that it was giving out up to $16 billion in direct payments to farmers who suffered losses during the coronavirus pandemic, such as market disruptions, price declines and increased marketing costs.
Another $14 billion was added to the assistance program in September.
Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain says the deadline to apply through local Farm Service Agency offices is Dec. 11.
“Eligibility is different for each program and we think nurseries and specialty crop producers just aren’t aware that they could be eligible for assistance,” Craig McCain, state executive director of the Farm Service Agency, said in a statement.