adai

Farmers, Nursery Growers Can Apply Now For State Coronavirus Assistance

Clint Thompson Alabama, Coronavirus

Alabama Farmers Federation

By Jeff Helms

MONTGOMERY, Ala., Sept. 15 — Alabama farmers and nursery growers negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic may begin applying for financial assistance through two programs administered by the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI). 

The signups are part of the $26 million Alabama Agriculture Stabilization Program (AASP), which was funded with money received by the state from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Applications will be accepted through Oct. 15 for state supplements to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) and the nursery grower reimbursement program. 

The Alabama Farmers Federation’s Preston Roberts said the programs are designed to help farmers weather the economic downturn and commodity price disruption caused by the pandemic. 

“Many Alabama farmers and nursery growers suffered losses due to businesses closing, travel restrictions and other efforts to control the spread of coronavirus,” said Roberts, the Federation’s director of agricultural legislation. “The CFAP offset some of the revenue lost from declining markets and low prices. The AASP helps farmers with losses not covered by federal programs.”

Another round of CFAP payments is expected from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), but Roberts urged farmers to go ahead and apply for the state programs.

“Applying for the AASP should not affect farmers’ eligibility for federal programs, but state assistance could be reduced based on additional federal CFAP payments,” he said. 

Farmers may apply for AASP funds at agi.Alabama.gov. or crf.Alabama.gov.

State Supplemental CFAP Eligibility: 

  1. Alabama resident.
  2. Only farming operations in the state of Alabama will be compensated.
  3. Must have been eligible for the USDA/FSA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) during that program’s application period of May 29-Sept. 11.
  4. This program will not provide any compensation for cattle or dairy production. Producers seeking compensation for cattle or dairy production must qualify for and apply for the State Cattle Producer Program.
  5. ADAI will require each applicant to submit the following to qualify for eligibility:
  • Copy of W-9 form
  • Successful submission of this application and signed certification and assurances form
  • Total USDA CFAP payment (excluding payments for cattle or dairy)
  • The county or counties farmed and commodities produced
  • Bank account information for electronic payment
  • Copy of a voided check or a memo from bank with account number and routing number

Note: While it is not required, you may submit your USDA CFAP application as supporting documentation. This may expedite the review process.

Nursery Grower Reimbursement Eligibility:

  1. Licensed nursery grower with the ADAI and be located in Alabama.
  2. Able to provide documentation of purchased eligible items during the date range of March 13-July 31, 2020. Growers are only eligible for reimbursement of purchases incurred due to COVID-19.
  3.  Eligible Items:
  • PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE): Hand Sanitizer, Face Masks, Gloves, Protective Clothing
  • CLEANING AND SANITATION: Cleaning products, disinfectants, sanitation services
  • MEDICAL: Thermometers, Swabs, Testing Kits
  • TELEWORK EXPENSES: Laptops, Tablets, Phones, Computer Equipment/Supplies
  • WORKPLACE SAFETY PREPARATIONS: Plexiglass Dividers or similar Workstation Modifications

ADAI will require each applicant to submit the following to qualify for eligibility:

  • Copy of W-9
  • Successful submission of this application and signed certification and assurances form
  • Invoices and supporting documentation 
  • Bank account information for electronic payment
  • Copy of a voided check or a memo from bank with account number and routing number.

AASP applications closed Sept. 15 for meat, catfish and fruit and vegetable processors. Cattle producers have until Oct. 9 to apply for assistance. A separate signup for poultry growers is expected to open Oct. 1 and close Oct. 31. 

For questions about any AASP signup or program eligibility, call (334) 240-7100 or email aasp-questions@agi.alabama.gov.