USDA is giving up to $200 million in relief to timber harvesting and timber hauling businesses that have experienced losses due to COVID-19.
Loggers and truckers can apply for assistance through USDA’s Farm Service Agency beginning Thursday until Oct. 15. FSA and the U.S. Forest Service administer the Pandemic Assistance for Timber Harvesters and Haulers program.
Timber harvesting and hauling businesses that have experienced a gross revenue loss of at least 10 percent during the period of Jan. 1 and Dec. 1, 2020, compared to the period of Jan. 1 and Dec. 1, 2019, are encouraged to apply.
In a press conference on the new funds, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, says the relief will be a “shot in the arm” for Wisconsin’s timber industry.
“On top of the existing challenges associated with natural disasters and trade, the pandemic caused a major disruption for loggers and timber haulers including lack of access to wood processing mills,” Secretary Tom Vilsack says. “This industry plays a critical role in our nation’s economy and we are proud to support these hard-working loggers and truckers as they get back on track.”
Eligible individuals or legal entities must be a timber harvesting or timber hauling business where 50 percent or more of its gross revenue is derived from one or more of: cutting timber, transporting timber or processing of wood on-site on the forest land.
Payments will be based on the applicant’s gross revenue received from Jan. 1, 2019, through Dec. 1, 2019, minus gross revenue received from Jan. 1, 2020, through Dec. 1, 2020, multiplied by 80 percent. FSA will issue an initial payment equal to the lesser of the calculated payment amount or $2,000 as applications are approved. A second payment will be made after the signup period has ended based upon remaining PATHH funds.
The maximum amount that a person or legal entity may receive directly is $125,000.