U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today expressed optimism that Mississippi agriculture producers will benefit from the launch of a second round of U.S. Department of Agriculture aid for agricultural producers affected by market disruptions and losses because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the availability of $14 billion in a second round of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) direct payments for row crops, livestock, specialty crops, dairy, aquaculture and other commodities. Farmers and ranchers may submit applications with their local Farm Service Agency from Sept. 21 to Dec. 11.

“The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program has helped Mississippi farmers and ranchers absorb marketing costs and losses associated with coronavirus disruptions. I hope more will apply for and benefit from CFAP 2,” Hyde-Smith said.

Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Agriculture Committee and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, strongly supported the creation of CFAP as part of the CARES Act, in addition to other benefits in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. She had worked diligently to have Mississippi-produced commodities, like catfish, eligible for COVID-19 agricultural aid.

Roughly $9.4 billion in initial CFAP payments have been made to date, with more than $101.5 million in payments issued to Mississippi producers, primarily row crop and livestock.

“President Trump and Secretary Perdue understand that the health of the American people and our economy rely on a healthy agricultural sector, and this additional infusion of aid will help farming and ranching operations survive this national crisis,” Hyde-Smith said.

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Release from Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith.