With global attention focused on the spread of COVID-19, Missouri Corn, like many businesses and organizations, is taking measures to protect their employees, while continuing to provide service to growers. Following Gov. Mike Parson’s directive to reduce contact and implement social distancing, our staff is currently working remotely. Our team remains ready to assist, and continues to engage in discussions to ensure growers are represented at the state and federal level, especially during these unprecedented challenges. Sign up for COVID-19 updates.

Federal Relief: What You Need To Know

FSA and AMS held a public webinar regarding the upcoming Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). The webinar focused on providing basic information on how producers can prepare for the upcoming signup for CFAP. USDA will release more details on program once the rule is published in the federal register. For now here are links to the webinar, published FAQs, and a stakeholder toolkit.  

Other CFAP resources include:

Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides loan guarantees to help small businesses (farmers included) to cover payroll costs, interest on mortgage obligations, rent, and utilities. Agriculture enterprises that employ 500 or less people whose principal place of residence is in the United States are eligible, regardless of revenue levels. Check eligibility on the SBA website. Loans may be made through any existing SBA-certified lender to include banks, credit unions, Farm Credit System institutions, and other financial institutions. 

Agriculture Qualifies For Economic Injury Disaster Loans
Agricultural operations with fewer than 500 employees can apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Grants. Interested producers may apply directly through the SBA at their website :https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19.

Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC)
What’s included in the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC)? The CCC is the funding source used for Market Facilitation Program (MFP) in recent years, along with the Marketing Assistance Loans and Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs. The CARES Act replenished $14 billion to the CCC for net realized losses sustained by agriculture.

Increased Weight Provisions

Corn, DDGS, and ethanol all qualify for increased hauling weight limits under this order. Please be aware, these increased limits apply to non-interstate roads within Missouri. If you wish to haul at 100,000 lbs. on the interstate must obtain a permit from MoDOT Motor Carrier Services at 1-866-831-6277. Always abide by trailer manufacturer and any weight-restricted bridge limits.

The Hours of Service exemption applies to corn, ethanol, DDGS, additional feedstock, fertilizer, and other inputs, as they are part of the FMCSA declaration and required to be used for the manufacture of essential items.

Crop Insurance Allowances

The Risk Management Agency (RMA) authorized additional flexibilities due to coronavirus while continuing to support producers, working through Approved Insurance Providers (AIPs) to deliver federal crop insurance services, including processing policies, claims and agreements. 

Private Pesticide Applicator Training Available via Video, Mail

Private pesticide applicator training has been shifted to online video training or through the mail. The Missouri Department of Agriculture and EPA are offering the two methods in place of in-person training for completing the Private Pesticide Applicator Training (PPAT). Applicators have the option to participate in a Zoom video teleconference or by corresponding through regular mail. Applicators are asked to register online for the Zoom meeting. 

Agriculture Deemed Essential
Gov. Parson, in coordination with the Missouri Departments of Health and Senior Services and Agriculture, has issued a consistent directive across local governments for any individual or business that is part of the food supply chain.

Is Your Farm Prepared?

According to a recent survey of farmers, 70 percent have no formal backup plan should a key member of the family farming operation become ill with COVID-19. Here are some basic things you can do and should consider.

Resources from National Organizations