Alabama farmers and forest owners hit hard by low prices from the coronavirus pandemic welcomed the announcement of $36 million in state assistance.
Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell said the state’s largest farm organization worked with state officials to quantify economic losses suffered by farmers and landowners.
“We appreciate Gov. Kay Ivey, Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Rick Pate and State Forester Rick Oates working with our members and other stakeholders to assess losses resulting from market disruption and identifying the urgent needs for stabilizing Alabama’s agricultural and forestry economy,” Parnell said. “The Federation’s staff, county leaders and state commodity committees were instrumental in developing plans to address immediate needs while strengthening our infrastructure for the future.”
In mid-August, Ivey announced the $26 million Alabama Agricultural Stabilization Program (AASP) package. It includes:
Direct Payment Business Stabilization Grants to Cattle Producers — $10.5 million
• Meat Processing Plant Reimbursement Program — $1.5 million
• Poultry Farmer Stabilization Grant Program — $4 million
• Catfish Processor Reimbursement Program — $500,000
• Fruit & Vegetable Processor Reimbursement Program — $500,000
• State Supplemental Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Grants — $8 million
• Nursery Grower Reimbursement Program — $1 million
Applications and eligibility requirements for AASP are available on the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries website at agi.alabama.gov.
Cattle producers must apply by Oct. 9, while nursery growers and those applying for state supplements to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program have until Oct. 15. Poultry farmers may sign up between Oct. 1 and Oct. 31.
The $10 million Assisting Alabama Timber Owners Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic program provides payments to landowners who harvested timber from March through July 2020. The payment rate is $1 per ton of timber sold. Initial payments are limited to not more than $10,000 per applicant, pending evaluation of program participation and available funding. The Alabama Forestry Commission is developing application and payment procedures.
Visit forestry.alabama.gov for updates.
Alabama received approximately $1.9 billion of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funding to respond to and mitigate COVID-19.