Late Friday secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced $19 billion in aid is on the way for farmers affected by COVID-19. The direct payments "will provide assistance to most farms that have significant losses" said a USDA spokesperson. For farmers that did not see losses from COVID-19 of at least 5 percent there will be no payments. If a farmers can show they did see losses of about 5 percent they can submit a claim that will be adjudicated by FSA and AMS.

Secretary Perdue said the USDA will get checks in the mail to eligible farmers as quickly as possible. I would assume for farmers that received program payments and Market Facilitation payments direct deposit that will be an option for the COVID-19 payments too. "I'm hoping we can get checks by the end of May, noting it will be a big task for USDA staff" said Secretary Perdue.

We know very few details yet about which commodities and what or how the payments will be structured. I did read that the biofuels industry was not part of this aid package. That is not good news for the ethanol industry and corn farmers. However, there is hope as more funds will be available from the CCC this summer.