Today I was talking with Le Sueur and Rice County FSA Director Gary Kunz about any help coming from the USDA for farmers coping with the COVID-19 Pandemic. We have heard from Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue that USDA staff are working on the programs and will get help out as soon as possible. Funds are available in different USDA programs so it is just a case of developing the details and computer software.

It has been really tough on livestock producers with meat processing plants slowing down and in some cases shutting down. This has forced some pork producers to euthanize pigs and some dairy farmers have had to dump milk. I asked Gary about a couple current USDA programs that maybe could help cover some of the financial losses.

Gary said local FSA offices were waiting for direction from the USDA in Washington D.C. and the Minnesota State FSA office. The programs may have to be adjusted slightly but hopefully help will be coming soon! It is very important that farmers not only document any losses caused by COVID-19 but also have third party documentation. Maybe the Vet, Ag Banker or rendering receipts. In the past third party verification was one of the requirements. So, just to be safe get that third party verification!