Yesterday evening’s congressional passage of $900 billion in COVID-19 relief aid includes $13 billion for American farmers and ranchers.

“We pushed hard for additional support for farmers and ranchers impacted by market disruptions and we’re glad that funding was included in the bill,” said North Dakota Farmers Union President Mark Watne. “This support will put farmers on better footing heading into the 2021 crop year.”

The assistance will be distributed as a supplement to Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) payments. Approximately $11.2 billion will be in the form of direct payments and other support to producers and processors. Row crop farmers can expect to receive $20 an acre, and cattle producers will receive a top-up payment to cover gaps in CFAP 1 and CFAP 2.

Additionally, Watne said the package contains $28 million for farm stress programs administered by state departments of agriculture; a 15% increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits and additional funding for food banks and hunger programs; and authorization for the secretary of agriculture to provide direct support to biofuel plants.

“We are glad to see Congress finally granting authority to support biofuel producers, many of whom are struggling to stay in operation,” Watne said. “Their livelihood directly impacts the bottom line of farmers everywhere.”