COVID, drought money on the way


In response to the severe drought conditions in the West and Great Plains, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Sept.8 its plans to help cover the cost of transporting feed for livestock that rely on grazing. USDA is updating the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP) to immediately cover feed transportation costs for drought-impacted ranchers. USDA’s Farm Service Agency will provide more details and tools to help ranchers get ready to apply at their local USDA Service Center later this month at


The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service announced it will soon publish requests for applications (RFAs) for the Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grants program to support agricultural stakeholders who haven’t yet received substantial federal financial assistance in responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

This grant program has about $650 million to fund applications and will provide assistance to small businesses in certain commodity areas including small scale specialty crop producers, food processors, manufacturers, distributors and farmers markets.

A grant forecast is now available to help potential applicants determine their eligibility and to prepare to apply for funding. Eligible entities should visit the PRS grant portal at for complete information on the program, including how to obtain a free of charge DUNS Number from Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) BEFORE applying for this program. On Sept. 23, USDA will issue another announcement indicating that entities may submit their applications through the grant portal; entities will need their DUNS number to submit an application.

If you have questions about applying or obtaining a DUNS number, visit this PRS application website or contact the Application Helpdesk by phone at (301) 238-5550 or by emailing [email protected]. The helpdesk hours of operation are Monday – Friday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. ET.

Application period opens: Sept. 23

Application period closes: 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Nov. 8

All applications submitted before the deadline will be considered for funding. Applications will not be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Funds will be used to issue grants for costs incurred between Jan. 27, 2020, the date upon which the public health emergency was declared by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act, and Dec. 31, 2021. Grants will cover certain activities associated with workplace safety, market pivots, transportation, worker housing and medical. The minimum funding request amount is $1,500. The maximum funding request amount is $20,000. Funding requests may range from $1,500 to $20,000.

For more, go to