USDA: Latest payments for pandemic-affected hemp farmers coming soon

Some $13 billion in additional agricultural aid for pandemic-impacted farmers should start going out by end of month.

Agriculture Undersecretary Bill Northey says the funds could go out even before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 20.

“We certainly have some things we would like to be able to get out very quickly,” Northey said in comments reported last week by Successful Farming.

Eligible farmers would receive payments of $20 an acre, roughly $5 billion in all, according to the $900 billion coronavirus relief package signed late last year by President Donald Trump.

Hemp farmers were excluded from the first round of COVID-19 assistance, but the crop was later deemed eligible. Hemp is classified as a “flat-rate” crop, a category set up for crops that don’t meet the 5% price decline trigger or don’t have data available to calculate a price change.

Biden has said he will propose additional pandemic assistance after he takes office.