USDA Announces Multi-Billion Dollar Programs to Assist Farmers & Agricultural Producers Affected by Coronavirus


By Shelley Swearingen – May 22, 2020

In an official statement released today, the USDA announced that $1 billion will be available in loan guarantees to assist rural businesses and agricultural producers. This relief was created to help farmers stay operational during the pandemic through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

In an effort to further assist rural farmers & producers, the USDA will be adding these additional measures:

  • 90% guarantees on B&I CARES Act Program loans will be provided
  • Application and guarantee fee to be set at 2% of the loan
  • Appraisals completed within two years of loan application date accepted
  • Discounting of collateral of working capital loans will not be required
  • The maximum term for working capital loans will be extended to 10 years

This announcement follows a plan released yesterday (May 21, 2020) allowing farmers with USDA farm loans (affected by the pandemic and meeting eligibility requirements) to have at least one payment set aside. The plan expands upon the Disaster Set-Aside (DSA) loan provision used normally to help those affected by natural disasters. This provision moves the due date to the final maturity date of the loan or twelve months if the loan is for annual operation. This set-aside payment will accrue interest until repaid; the purpose of this action is to offer immediate relief.

Furthermore, this week saw another huge assistance program introduced to help those affected by COVID-19. The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) will supply American farmers & ranchers with $16 billion in direct payments. In conjunction with this lifeline, the USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box program will assist distributors, both local & regional. Farmers to Families will buy $3 billion of meat, dairy, and produce from American farmers and ranchers to be distributed to those in need. This program addresses two important problems: it helps feed citizens in need and prevents food waste.

Many farmers and ranchers are being forced to destroy product or watch produce rot. The shuttering of restaurants nationwide meant that orders from these restaurants became non-existent. This had a catastrophic effect on our nation’s farming industry. There are still mouths to feed, and the USDA recognizes such.

At Geswein Farm & Land, we’re here with you. We strive to stay educated on programs to help our local farmers, ranchers, foresters, and landowners. To discover what your farms and land are worth, assistance with finding a farm tenant to be the best steward of your land assets, or to just talk ‘land values’ call Johnny Klemme at (765) 427-1619 or send him an email at

Links to USDA Press Releases on Assistance Programs:

USDA to Provide $1 Billion in Loan Guarantees for Rural Businesses and Ag Producers

FSA Expands Set-Aside Loan Provision for Customers Impacted by COVID-19

USDA Announces Details of Direct Assistance to Farmers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program





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