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PPP Forgiveness Application for Loans Under $50,000 Now Shorter

by Megan Roberts, Extension educator Effective October 8, 2020, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)borrowers receiving forgivable loans of $50,000 or less can use a streamlined forgiveness application. Borrowers have 10 months after the end of the covered period to submit for forgiveness. Based on the timing of the first PPP loans, no PPP borrower has an eminent forgiveness application deadline in 2020. Further, this is the third major change to the forgiveness applications for PPP loans, and given the history of changes, borrowers should be aware this might not be the last update this year to the program. 3508SFor borrowers $50,000 or under, you may now use the 3508S or lender equivalent (i.e. the short form). You will not need to submit calculations on your 3508S forgiveness application, but you do still need to initial that you’ve “accurately calculated the forgiveness amount requested” and met all the stipulations for forgiveness. The stipulations include, for example, that the forg…
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Outlook for the 2020 Crops

WORTHINGTON, Minn (9-15-2020). The fall crop harvest is quickly approaching with corn silage harvest completed on many farms, next comes the soybean and corn harvest. With the recent dry weather, many farmers are hoping to have little to no drying costs for corn. The dryer weather conditions in August took the top off yields, but it still looks like an excellent crop.So, what is the outlook for this year’s crops? Until recently, corn prices were at or below $3.00 and soybean prices were at or below $8.00. But with recent good exports, purchases from China and a shrinking crop from earlier USDA predictions, corn and soybeans prices have rallied to above $3.15 and soybeans above $9.30. With projected average production costs in 2020 of $743 per for corn and $483 per acre for soybeans, how does this compare to projected income?Using high yields of 250 bushels per acre on corn and 60 bushels for soybeans at current prices, gross income would be $787.50 for corn and $558, which would both …

Dig In Finances Podcast: CFAP 2

Dig In Finances Podcast
#3:  CFAP 2.0 With the announcement of second-round Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2), Megan Roberts discusses what Minnesota farmers should know for the Monday, September 21 sign-up opening. Megan Roberts is an experienced Extension Educator who has been closely following agriculture legislative policies and their impact on Minnesota farmers. Transcript of Episode 3Episode Highlights:0:25 - Introduction to CFAP 21:46 - How to Enroll 2:41 - Changes in Eligible Commodities"So it's really important if you weren't eligible in CFAP1 to go back and relook to see if now, perhaps you are eligible."6:04 - Resources for Legislative Updates7:01 - Final Thoughts on CFAP 2"I think it's just important to determine whether you are eligible and then to go through that process of getting signed up. As we continue to move through fall and this really challenging time during COVID-19, I'm sure there will be other programs to keep an eye o…

The Second Round of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) Announced

 by Megan Roberts, Extension educator The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the second round of direct farmer assistance, the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2), on September 18, 2020. Sign up for CFAP 2 begins with Farm Service Agency (FSA) on Monday September 21, 2020 and concludes Friday, December 11, 2020. (Sign-up for the original program, CFAP 1, ended September 11.) The wide-reaching program covers hundreds of commodities, including specialty and non-specialty crops and livestock. Funding for CFAP 2 comes from the authority of the Commodity Credit Corp (CCC) Charter Act. CCC funds were replenished through the CARES Actback in March 2020. USDA estimates distributing a total of $14 billion in ad-hoc direct payments to producers nationwide through CFAP 2. Row crops, wool, livestock, specialty livestock, dairy, specialty crops, floriculture and nursery crops, aquaculture, broilers and eggs, and tobacco are all commodities included in CFAP 2. In gen…

AFNR researchers report on COVID-19 impact on livestock agriculture

It’s no surprise that COVID-19 has had a deep impact on Minnesota farmers, leading many of them to consider new marketing and processing strategies. Each industry has been affected differently and University of Minnesota Extension senior economic impact analyst Brigid Tuck, ag economist Joleen Hadrich and ABM educator Megan Roberts have been researching COVID-19’s impact on livestock-based agriculture. They recently published three separate reports on how the hog, dairy and poultry industries have been individually impacted.The researchers found that an estimated 45 percent of hogs had no market due to widespread closures and partial closures of hog slaughter facilities in late April 2020. Read the full report or a summary of the conclusions.Minnesota dairy farmers have been faring COVID-19 better than their peers in other states, the dairy report noted. The use of milk in cheese production helped provide a buffer for Minnesota dairy farms. Read the full report or a summary of the conc…

The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Application Deadline Extended to Sept 11

 by Megan Roberts, Extension educatorThe United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced several updates to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) on August 11. In terms of application logistics, the most important announcement is that producers now have a few extra weeks to get their application into Farm Service Agency. The new application deadline is Friday, September 11, 2020. USDA also announced several new additions to the program, mostly involving specialty crops not in season here in Minnesota during the late winter and early spring period covered by CFAP. However, maple sap, nursery plants, early cut flowers, sheep over two years, some egg products, and other commodity additions may be relevant to Minnesota producers. Producers can visit farmers.gov/cfap for the comprehensive list of covered commodities and to learn more information about how to apply.For more information about COVID-19 farm financial programs visit our Extension webpageor call the Farm Infor…

Dig In Finances Podcast: Farm Direct Minnesota

Dig In Finances Podcast
#2:  Farm Direct Minnesota Sazzy Calhoun, the founder of Farm Direct Minnesota, shares her story of creating a direct marketing network that has connected more than 450 farmers with nearly 50,000 Minnesota consumers. She shares tips for direct marketing and the success stories of farmers who have joined Farm Direct Minnesota's free Facebook page and an online farm directory.
Transcript of Episode 2Episode Highlights:00:54   Farm Direct Minnesota Beginnings03:07   The Impact on Farmers and Consumers05:09   How to Join Farm Direct "How does a farmer put their product on Farm Direct Minnesota? First of all, they just have to ask to join the site."07:12   Direct Marketing Advice09:45   Long-term Sustainability of Direct Marketing "I've had consumers say to me, I will always do this. I will never go back to the big box store to buy my meat."  Links from this episode:
Farm Direct Minnesota Facebook PageFarm Direct Minnesota Vender SiteBuy Me a …