There is still plenty of money left to be distributed in the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently extended the deadline to sign up to September 11th.
Indiana Farm Service Agency Executive Director Steve Brown told Hoosier Ag Today, “Part of the reason (for the extension) was we added some new products. Liquid eggs, frozen eggs, all sheep are now eligible, aquaculture, so there were several additional commodities and livestock added so that was part of the extension. The Secretary wanted to make sure everybody had the opportunity to sign up with those additional crops.
“We do have a lot of producers still inquiring. We just also issued the additional 20 percent of payment. Originally, we paid out 80 percent of the rate and they held 20 percent. The Secretary has now released that additional 20 percent,” Brown said.
Brown encourages producers to reach out to their local FSA office to get questions on eligibility answered. While you’re on the phone with them, you can also ask about the WHIP+ program, which Brown says has caused some confusion for producers.
“In 2019 we had 88 counties designated as a disaster due to excessive moisture. This new eligibility requirement didn’t take place till late February, early March, so it’s basically a new program for our Indiana offices and it’s affecting a lot of our counties. We are having activity. It’s a pretty hard process for our offices to complete, but there is funding there. We’ve issued, I think as of last week, close to $80 million in Indiana for WHIP+. So, I encourage producers to call and inquire about that program.”
The WHIP+ program does not have a deadline to signup, but Brown says the sooner you sign up, the better.