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USDA: Relief package of up to $125,000 coming to farmers

Posted at 4:38 PM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 21:07:10-04

The farm industry is getting hit hard during this pandemic. Farmers say they have an excess amount of milk and food, and with businesses closing, their products are going to waste.

In fact, some farmers in Arizona have reported being forced to dump over 100,000 gallons of milk a day.

But now, some money is coming to those struggling.

The USDA says farmers and ranchers will be eligible for up to $125,000 per commodity with an overall payment limit of $250,000 per person or entity.

The USDA will also buy food from farmers to give to food banks.

“Instead of the farmer getting absolutely no return on that product, they’re able to get it to give it to a food bank for a certain amount and to actually re-coop some of the production cost on that,” Chelsea McGuire with the Arizona Farm Bureau said.

However, Keith Murfield, CEO of United Dairymen of Arizona, says he doesn’t think that will be enough to fix the financial trouble farms in Arizona are facing.

“I guess I would call it very disappointing because they put caps on it, so it’s more for a producer with 250-300 cows then it is to our family farms here in Arizona which are much larger than that,” Murfield said.

The Arizona Farm Bureau says while exact details have not yet been released, they anticipate farmers will work with their local farm service agency office to sign up for the funding.