Help for Timber Harvesters and Haulers
The struggling timber industry is about to get some help. $200 million has been earmarked by the USDA to provide relief to timber harvesting and timber hauling businesses that have experienced losses due to the pandemic.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke on a conference call about the new Pandemic Assistance for Timber Harvesters and Haulers program (PATHH).
Vilsack: “The first payment will be $2 thousand and then we’ll see where we are relative to the $200 million and then the second round of payments will be made following that with a limit that no one will receive more than $125 thousand. So that’s the payment structure.”
Vilsack added that “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. Since the industry plays a critical role in our nation’s economy we are proud to support these hard-working loggers and truckers as they get back on track.”
Timber harvesters or timber haulers are eligible if 50% or more of their gross revenue is from cutting, transporting, or processing timber on-site on the forest land. They must have suffered at least 10% loss in gross revenue from Jan. 1st to December 1st, 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.
Farm forest and commercial non-farm timber bring in over $900 million to Alabama’s economy.
And in Florida, the timber industry’s economic contributions in 2018 included more than $460 million in sales revenues supporting more than 5,500 jobs. And when considering multiplier effects, Florida’s forestry and logging operations support $744 million in sales revenue and 7,212 jobs throughout the state’s economy.
Timber harvesters and haulers can apply now at their local FSA office.