The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that producers of maple sap used to make maple syrup are now eligible for direct financial relief to help offset the financial harm they have experienced due to COVID-19.

In June, U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Reps. Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden sent a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue in support of maple syrup producers’ eligibility for direct relief from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. CFAP, created through the CARES Act, is providing up to $16 billion in direct payments to deliver relief to America’s farmers. In the letter, the Delegation also noted their full support of a letter previously sent by Gov. Mills, which outlined the necessity of this relief for the Maine maple syrup industry. Maine is home to more than 550 maple syrup producers.

CFAP was established to provide “vital assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a five-percent-or-greater price decline and face additional significant marketing costs as a result of lower demand, surplus production, and disruptions to shipping patterns and the orderly marketing of commodities.” To date, a total of more than $14 million has been awarded through CFAP to Maine farmers to help offset the financial harm they have experienced due to COVID-19.

The USDA is continuing to accept applications from farmers through Sept. 11. More information about CFAP and the application process can be found on USDA’s resource page at Farmers.gov/cfap.