Tune in next Wednesday at 10 a.m. to view The Southern Ohio Farm Show, a new program offered by the OSU Extension offices from Highland, Brown and Clermont counties. The program will include a market update, weather forecast, and each episode will include a feature topic. The first episode will cover soil sampling procedures and testing.
If it is possible to pull the Zoom link & Zoom phone number in the part about the Southern Ohio Farm Show, I would appreciate it. We are going to set up a registration link on our website, Highland.osu.edu. If you can direct folks to our website instead, that would be great.
The Southern Ohio Farm Show will be broadcast through Zoom. Through Zoom, you will be able to view the program on your computer, smartphone, or listen to it on your phone with the call-in option. The program will also be aired on Facebook, YouTube, the Hillsboro Local Access Channel, and the Greenfield local access channel (Spectrum channel 1021). To sign-up for the session visit Highland.osu.edu. For more information, contact the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918.
Two weeks ago, we launched a Qualtrics survey to collect contact information about local food producers. While we are updating the site with more local farms daily, the site is live and can be used as a resource by anyone looking to purchase local food. You can visit the site at https://u.osu.edu/localfoodproducers/.
coronavirus food assistance
Editor’s note — This following portion of the column is by Ben Brown, assistant professor of professional practice- agricultural risk management, Department of Agricultural, and David Marrison, associate professor and Extension educator in Coshocton County.
On April 17, the preliminary details about the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) were released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program aimed to assist farmers, ranchers and consumers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CFAP provides $19 billion in funds authorized through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES).
The $19 billion program includes two major elements. The first element is for direct support to farmers and ranchers. This program will provide $16 billion in direct support to farmers based on actual losses where prices and market supply chains have been impacted by COVID-19. The program will also assist producers with additional adjustment and marketing costs resulting from lost demand and short-term oversupply for the 2020 marketing year caused by COVID-19.
It has been reported, although not confirmed by the USDA, that in the direct support program, $5.1 billion will be allocated to support cattle producers, $3.9 billion for row crop producers, $2.9 billion for dairy, $2.1 for specialty crops, $1.6 billion for hog producers and $500 million for other commodities.
The Chairman of the Senate Agricultural Appropriations subcommittee has indicated the direct assistance to producers will be one payment comprised of the sum of two parts. The first part is 85% of the losses incurred between Jan. 1 and April 15, 2020 per commodity. The second part will be 30% of the loss in market prices due to COVID-19 between April and the next two quarters. Perdue has expressed that payments are intended to be made by end of May or early June. To qualify for a payment, a commodity must have declined in price by at least 5% between January and April 15.
The remaining $3 billion dollars of the CFAP allocation will be used for a USDA Purchase and Distribution program. In this program, the USDA will partner with regional and local distributors to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat. The USDA will purchase an estimated $100 million per month in fresh fruits and vegetables, $100 million per month in a variety of dairy products, and $100 million per month in meat products. The distributors and wholesalers will then provide a preapproved box of fresh produce, dairy, and meat products to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits to distribute. Monthly purchases totaling $300 million will continue until the funds are exhausted.
The USDA will also utilize other available funding sources to purchase and distribute food to those in need. This includes an additional $873.3 million available in Section 32 funding to purchase a variety of agricultural products for distribution to food banks. The use of these funds will be determined by industry requests, USDA agricultural market analysis, and food bank needs.
Additionally, the FFCRA and CARES Act provided at least $850 million for food bank administrative costs and USDA food purchases, of which a minimum of $600 million will be designated for food purchases. The use of these funds will be determined by food bank need and product availability.
For all the information on USDA’s work during the COVID-19 pandemic and resources available, visit https://www.usda.gov/coronavirus.
Brooke Beam, Ph.D., is an agriculture and natural resources/community development educator, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, OSU Extension Highland County.