Beginning July 22, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will accept applications for pandemic-related financial assistance from loggers and timber truckers. In total, FSA will provide up to $200 million in relief funds, which are part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initative.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, authorized this critical assistance for the timber industry. Timber harvesting and hauling businesses that have experienced a gross revenue loss of at least 10% 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.
“USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative promised to get financial assistance to a broader set of producers and today’s announcement delivers on that promise,” said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. “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. 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.”
“We’ve heard from loggers and truckers whose livelihoods were significantly impacted this past year by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are pleased that USDA can help alleviate some of the financial burden,” added Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen. “I encourage those logging and log-hauling businesses hardest hit by the pandemic to learn more about the assistance offered through this new program.”
To be eligible for payments, individuals or legal entities must be a timber harvesting or timber hauling business where 50% or more of its gross revenue is derived from one or more of the following:
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%. 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.
Applying for Assistance
Loggers and truckers can apply for PATHH beginning on July 22 by completing form FSA-1118, Pandemic Assistance for Timber Harvesters and Haulers Program application, and certifying to their gross revenue for 2019 and 2020 on the application. Additional documentation may be required. Visit farmers.gov/pathh for more information on how to apply.
Applications can be submitted to the FSA office at any USDA Service Center nationwide by mail, fax, hand delivery, or via electronic means. To find a local FSA office, loggers and truckers can visit farmers.gov/service-locator. They can also call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance.