Pandemic assistance for timber harvesters and haulers
Published 6:00 am Wednesday, October 13, 2021
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing up to $200 million to provide relief to timber harvesting and timber hauling businesses that have experienced losses due to COVID-19 as part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. Loggers and truckers can apply for assistance through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) July 22 through Oct. 15. The Pandemic Assistance for Timber Harvesters and Haulers program (PATHH) is administered by FSA in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service.
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.
The agency has delivered and continues to deliver COVID-19 related assistance to agriculture, and similarly, logging has experienced its share of financial hardships throughout the pandemic.
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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: cutting timber, transporting timber, processing of wood on-site on the forest land (chipping, grinding, converting to biochar, cutting to smaller lengths, etc.).
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.
Loggers and truckers can apply for PATHH beginning 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. Call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance.
As USDA looks to long-term solutions to build back a better food system, the department is committed to delivering financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers and businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 market disruptions. Since USDA rolled out the Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative in March, the department has announced over $7 billion in assistance to producers and agriculture entities. For more details visit www.farmers.gov/ pandemic-assistance.