Agriculture Department Extends Deadline For Farmers To Apply For Aid

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Agriculture Department Extends Deadline For Farmers To Apply For Aid
The program gives direct payments to farmers.
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The Department of Agriculture is extending its deadline for farmers to apply for federal coronavirus aid.

The department announced Tuesday it'll extend the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program to Sept. 11 — giving farmers more time to apply.

Multiple farm groups requested the extension. In a statement, the president of the American Farm Bureau Association said many families haven't gone through federal programs before and "need help navigating their way through the process."

The federal program gives direct payments to farmers and is intended to help farmers recover from the economic shutdown. It also includes a $3 billion purchase of dairy, meat and produce to distribute to Americans in need. 

But almost four months after its inception, the program has used less than half of its $16 billion budget. The USDA limited approved payments early on to ensure there would be money available but says it'll now release the rest of the funds.