By: Mark W. Dell’Orfano
May 28, 2020
The New Hampshire Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery recently announced the allocation of $10 million in emergency funding from the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund to support New Hampshire farms with COVID-19 related expenses and lost revenues from March 1, 2020, to December 30, 2020.
Although the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food (“Agriculture”) is continuing to develop the specific details of the agriculture grant program, the Governor’s office has announced the following planned grant allocations:
- $4.5 million to New Hampshire’s dairy farmers;
- $1.5 million to New Hampshire’s fruit, vegetable, and ornamental plant growers (“Plant Growers”), and maple syrup producers (“Maple Syrup Producers”); and
- $4.0 million for emergency grants to ensure the stability of New Hampshire’s food supply.
Dairy Farmers: Agriculture will calculate dairy farmer’s COVID-19-related lost revenue from falling milk prices by comparing the price paid for milk shipped into the fluid milk market to the Agri-Mark Northeast Milk Price Forecasts, 2019-2020, dated February 28, 2020. The monthly relief payment to each dairy farmer will be the dairy farmer’s lost revenue during the applicable month(s) adjusted for insurance. Agriculture will obtain this information and process payments automatically without the need for any formal request or application procedures. Each dairy farmer, however, must return a signed award agreement before receiving any relief payments.
Plant Growers and Maple Syrup Producers: To qualify for monthly relief payments, each Plant Grower and Maple Syrup Producer must have (1) had at least $50,000 in gross agricultural sales during the 2019 calendar year; and (2) incurred COVID-19-related expenses or lost revenue between March 1, 2020, and December 30, 2020. Agriculture will require eligible Plant Growers and Maple Syrup Producers to submit actual COVID-19-related expense and lost revenue information every month, and, upon review, will process relief payments based on each eligible participant’s monthly proportional share (based on historical sales data) of the $1.5 million grant allocation.
Reserve Fund to Stabilize Food Supply: The Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery will administer the $4 million reserve fund, making emergency grants to industries identified by Agriculture that require financial support to continue production.
Neither agritourism businesses nor farming businesses with less than $50,000 in gross agricultural sales during 2019 will be eligible for financial aid through the New Hampshire Agriculture Grant Program. Instead, those businesses are encouraged to apply for assistance from the NH Main Street Relief Fund.
A prequalifying application for the NH Main Street Relief Fund must be submitted by May 29, 2020.