SPRINGFIELD, IL — Direct payments and mass food purchases make up a $19 billion plan to help farmers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue unveiled the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Friday, which is a good first step, says Mark Gebhards with the Illinois Farm Bureau.
Under the program, USDA will provide $16 billion in direct payments to farmers and ranchers. The bulk of the money — $9.6 billion — is designated for livestock producers. The program also includes $3.9 billion for row crop producers, $2.1 billion for specialty crops producers and $500 million for other crops.