More COVID-19 financial relief coming to farmers, local farmers react

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HARTSELLE, Ala – President Trump and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced 14 billion dollars in additional relief to farmers impacted by COVID-19. Farmers can begin applying for help Sept. 21.

While most of the country is not shutdown anymore, there are several parts of the economy that are limping along. Farmers are caught in the middle.

“People were bush hogging entire tomato fields,” said Mike Reeves, the owner of Reeves Farm in Hartselle.

Reeves farms a bit of everything. His operations are doing just fine as most people come to him locally for this crops. That’s not the case for countless farmers that sell to specific industries.

“Their tomato’s went to restaurants, they went to cruise ships, went to schools. All them closed down. So that supply backed up on them,” said Reeves.

Earlier in the pandemic, News 19 spent time with cattle rancher Dona Jo Curtis. She couldn’t sell her cattle because of log-jams at processing planets.

“The supply is there and the demand is there. Just the price we are getting as cow-calf producers is not,” said Curtis.

Meat supply chains have improved some since News 19 talked to Curtis. Farmers also tell News 19 the grain market is starting to get better as China ramps up orders.

For farmers like Mike Reeves, he only encountered some farm supply delays. That may continue for several months.

“It’s strawberry planting season pretty soon. It looks like our plants may be a little late. That’s due to a backup of labor to harvest the strawberry tips that turn to into the plants that we plant,” said Reeves.

Farmers face these problems pandemic or not. After speaking to 5 different farmers Friday, they all feel President Trump and the government have provided them enough support options to manage this pandemic.

“This is just something else we’ve had to deal with. I would say assistance has been good. Farmers are resilient. Sometimes it tough but they’ll make it,” said Reeves.

If you are a farmer and need assistance, click here.

There is a payment limitation of $250,000 per person or entity for all commodities combined. Applicants who are corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships may qualify for additional payment limits when members actively provide personal labor or personal management for the farming operation.

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