Updates to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program allows contract growers of livestock and specialty crops to receive assistance for pandemic revenue losses. Scott Bennett, American Farm Bureau Federation Congressional Relations Director, says the change relates to how contract growers show their losses.

"What this does is allows contract pork and poultry producers, among additional commodities, to now receive up to 80 percent of their revenue loss between 2020 and either 2019 or 2018," Bennett said. "The 2018 calendar year can now be used in lieu of the 2019 calendar year to establish a revenue loss for payment through this program."

Bennett says this more accurately reflects the needs of contract growers.

"The American Farm Bureau has been instrumental, working with the Department of Agriculture on this program," Bennett said. "We have up to $1 billion available for contract growers that have seen a revenue loss in 2020. This update also includes breeding stock and eggs of all eligible poultry types produced under the contract."

USDA’s Farm Service Agency also set a deadline for applications.

"FSA has been taking applications for this since March, but October 12 of 2021 will be the deadline to either apply for this assistance, or to modify your current application," Bennett said.

Fam Bureau members should contact your local FSA office to learn more.