COVID-19 Resources
Last update: 2:00 p.m. on March 30, 2020.

Major Agriculture Milestones

  • March 28, 2020: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security updated their list of critical infrastructure workers during the COVID-19 response effort. To learn more, click here.
  • March 26, 2020: The U.S. Department of State, recognizing the H-2A program’s contribution to the nation’s food security, authorized temporary waivers for in-person interviews to expedite the approval for any eligible H-2A visa applicants. To learn more, click here.
  • March 27, 2020: President Trump signed The CARES Act, which includes special provisions to support USDA, FDA and producers. We expect further details to be released by USDA soon on producer relief provisions that specifically stated livestock, dairy and specialty crops. In the meantime, more information may be found by clicking here.
  • March 25, 2020: The Missouri Department of Transportation announced a free, temporary overweight permit to allow haulers to transport up to 100,000 lbs. on any Missouri highway. This includes livestock, poultry, feed and fuels. This announcement was an expansion of MoDOT’s announcement on March 13 that allowed for certain heavier-than-normal truckloads. To see the specific criteria, click here.
  • March 24, 2020: Governor Parson, in cooperation with the Missouri Departments of Health and Senior Services and Agriculture created a statewide framework protecting the food supply and adopts the U.S. Department of Homeland Security list of essential critical infrastructure workers. To learn more, click here.
  • March 23, 2020: The Small Business Administration approved Missouri’s application by Governor Parson to allow for disaster relief loans related to COVID-19. To learn more, click here.
  • March 18, 2020: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration expanded their original declaration that provided hours-of-service regulatory relief to haulers. The declaration includes loads of food, fuel and “immediate precursor raw materials.” FCMSA has included a list of agriculture commodities that qualify: livestock, feed and fertilizer. For FMCSA’s latest information, declarations, and resources in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, click here.
  • March 17, 2020: The Missouri Department of Transportation temporarily suspended all Missouri International Registration Plan (IRP) and International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) trip and fuel permits for vehicles not register for interstate travel in Missouri. To learn more, click here.

Missouri Department of Agriculture Waivers of Laws and Regulations

  • Pesticide recertification extension: Due to COVID-19 concerns, several pesticide recertification trainings have been canceled. As a result, the Missouri Department of Agriculture will grant extensions that may allow applicators time to attend a rescheduled recertification training. For required action items and more information, click here.
  • Grain dealer and warehousing license renewal: The statutory requirement that grain warehouse and grain dealer license forms be notarized has been waived. For more information, click here.
  • Unattended fuel stations: In an effort to reduce exposure and promote social distancing at fueling stations, the Missouri Department of Agriculture has suspended some regulatory requirements for unattended service station owners and operators. For more information, click here.
  • Propane safety training: Due to COVID-19 concerns, many “refresher” propane safety trainings have been canceled, leaving businesses without an option to renew their training prior to the three-year expiration designated in rule. The Missouri Propane Safety will not be issuing notices of violation to businesses that cannot obtain training at this time. For more information, click here.

Farmer, Ranchers & Agribusiness Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Missouri Department of Agriculture open for business?

The Missouri Department of Agriculture is continuing our critical services remotely to control the COVID-19 response. Our team remains ready to assist you; however, our building is currently closed to the public.

Please call (573) 751-4211 or email aginfo@mda.mo.gov to contact our team.

What does the Missouri Director of Health & Senior Services’ social distancing order mean for agriculture?

The social distancing order announced on March 21, 2020, was intended to discourage social gatherings of more than 10 people at a time. This order does not apply to normal business operations. Businesses should attempt to reduce employee interaction by having fewer than 10 people in a setting and maintaining at least 6’ distance between all individuals present, when feasible. You can learn more on the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services webpage.

What is considered an “essential business”?

Agriculture, and anyone in the food supply chain, is considered an essential business within Missouri. On March 24, Governor Parson approved a request from the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services to create a consistent “essential business” directive across local governments for any individual or business that is part of the food supply chain. Farmers, ranchers, agriculture businesses and grocery stores are encouraged to continue essential business functions to feed our citizens. You can read the full news release on the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services website.

The Department of Homeland Security has also identified food and agriculture as essential and critical infrastructure in their federal guidance. The directive from the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services removes the authority of local public health authorities to restrict workers and businesses within the food supply chain. We encourage those traveling to and from places of work within food and agriculture, or for official food and agriculture business, within an area of restricted travel to keep a copy of the DHS guidance, the DHSS order, any local stay-at-home orders and a letter from their employer. As a courtesy, the Missouri Department of Agriculture has created a template letter for farms, ranches and agriculture businesses.

A list of countywide and citywide orders in Missouri can be found by clicking here.

* IMPORTANT: This list is constantly evolving and is only provided as a helpful guide. It may not be complete. Please check with your local mayors, county health departments and other authorities to see if one exists in your county.

How can “essential businesses” minimize risk?

All businesses should encourage employees to work remotely when possible and focus on core business activities to limit interaction between employees. We recognize agriculture essential businesses, especially food production and distribution facilities, are necessary to continue operations to sustain an abundant and nutritious food supply. All essential businesses that remain open should review and adjust standard operating procedures to minimize risk, send home sick employees, and minimize or eliminate gatherings of more than 10 people and stay six feet apart whenever possible. For guidance on how to reduce transmission among employees, maintain healthy business operations, and maintain a healthy work environment we recommend businesses review CDC’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

How can I demonstrate employees, including those delivering food and agriculture products, are part of an “essential business” while traveling in areas with restricted movement?

We encourage those traveling to and from places of work within food and agriculture, or for official food and agriculture business, within an area of restricted travel to keep a copy of the DHS guidance, the DHSS order, any local stay-at-home orders and a letter from their employer. As a courtesy, the Missouri Department of Agriculture has created a template letter for farms, ranches and agriculture businesses.

A list of countywide and citywide orders in Missouri can be found by clicking here.

* IMPORTANT: This list is constantly evolving and is only provided as a helpful guide. It may not be complete. Please check with your local mayors, county health departments and other authorities to see if one exists in your county.

If you experience issues with moving essential employees or product, please contact aginfo@mda.mo.gov or (573) 751-2613.

Should we be concerned about a lack of food?

The state of our nation’s food supply is strong. While many of you have seen bare grocery store shelves lately, we can assure you this is a demand issue, not a supply issue. Food production and manufacturing are widely dispersed throughout the country and there are currently no wide-spread disruptions reported in the supply chain.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration are closely monitoring the food supply chain for any shortages in coordination with state and federal partners.

Is my food safe from coronavirus?

There is no evidence supporting the transmission of COVID-19 via food. There is low risk of spread from food products or packaging as these coronaviruses have poor survivability on surfaces. Always handle and prepare food safely by separating raw meats, refrigerating perishables and cooking properly. It is always important to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, particularly before and during food preparation and consumption.

To learn more about food safety and Covid-19, please visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s webpage: Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The Department has developed a template delivery record sheet for drivers to log their delivery stops and customer contact information.

What special transportation waivers have been granted to support the food supply?

Hours of Service

On March 18, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a National Emergency Declaration allowing hours-of-service relief for commercial vehicles delivering direct relief in response to COVID-19 (medical, food, temporary housing, etc.). This declaration includes livestock, ethanol, feed and fertilizer.

Weight

On March 17, the Missouri Department of Transportation expanded the motor carrier weight allowance to 100,000 lbs. for 53 ft. trailers (or longer) on non-interstate roads. This allowance applies to livestock, poultry and feed. If you would like to haul these commodities on interstate roads, you must apply for a permit from MoDOT’s Motor Carrier Services by calling 1-866-831-6277. On March 25, MoDOT announced a free, temporary overweight permit that will allow haulers to transport up to 100,000 lbs on any Missouri highway, including interstates, as long as certain criteria are met.

  • A copy of the special permit and a bill of lading must be in the possession of the operator of the overweight vehicle during its operation and shall be produced for inspection upon request to any Missouri law enforcement official and/or any MoDOT employee.
  • The load must carry supplies and/or equipment in the direct effort to prevent, contain, mitigate and treat the effects of the COVID-19 virus. This includes shipments of livestock, poultry, feed and fuels. Any fuels being transported can be hauled at 100,000 lbs. or up to the manufacturer’s specifications of the tank type being operated, whichever results in the lower weight.
  • Undertaking movement is evidence that both the owner and operator of the equipment agree to abide by the conditions of the special permit and all other non-exempted requirements for overweight loads.
  • Carriers may haul up to 100,000 lbs. gross weight on semi-trailer configurations with five or more axles. The axles must meet the minimum distance requirement stated in the special permit. Carriers using trucks or semi-trailers with fewer axles are allowed to haul up to an additional 10% heavier than licensed weight.
  • Carriers and vehicle operators must obey all structure postings and size and weight restrictions.
  • Violation of any of the conditions of the special permit will void the permit and subject the owner and operator to penalty.

This permit is effective March 25-April 30, 2020. For more information, visit https://www.modot.org/mcs.

IRP and IFTA

MoDOT is also temporarily suspended all Missouri International Registration Plan and International Fuel Tax Agreement trip and fuel permit requirements, including fees, for vehicles not currently registered for interstate travel in Missouri during the declared COVID-19 emergency. A copy of the Trip and Fuel waiver document, available on MoDOT’s Motor Carrier Services webpage must be retained in each vehicle operating under this waiver and retained with the records kept by the driver for audit purposes.

What documentation do I need to haul food and agriculture goods under the federal FCMSA transportation waivers?

A typical manifest will serve as sufficient documentation to prove what you’re hauling and where your final destination is.

The Department has developed a template delivery record sheet for drivers to log their delivery stops and customer contact information.

What assistance is available to Missouri’s small businesses?

On March 18, 2020, Governor Mike Parson directed the State Emergency Management Agency and the Missouri Department of Economic Development to apply for statewide disaster assistance loans to support Missouri businesses and non-profits.

Small business owners in all U.S. states are currently eligible to apply for a low-interest loan due to COVID-19. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program provides small business with up to $2 million of working capital loans to help overcome temporary loss of revenue. Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills not paid as a result of the disaster’s impact.

If I’m experiencing a supply chain disruption at my business, who can I contact?

If you’re struggling to sell food and agriculture products because of the COVID-19 response, you can contact our Agriculture Business Development team by email at abd@mda.mo.gov to see if they can connect you with a buyer.

Will farmers’ markets remain open?

In many cities, such as Kansas City and Columbia, farmers’ markets have been deemed essential as they provide citizens with food. Precautions are still advised, including washing hands and keeping a safe distance (six feet) between you and another person, when possible. Information on farmers’ markets change frequently as the pandemic evolves and their ability to remain in operation may depend on their location, so check with your local farmers’ market to learn how their decisions might affect you.

The Department has developed a template delivery record sheet for drivers to log their delivery stops and customer contact information.

Taxes are due soon. When do I need to file?

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Missouri Department of Revenue will provide special tax filing and payment relief. The deadline to file income tax returns and payment deadlines for individuals and corporations has been extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. Payment relief applies to all individual tax returns, income tax returns filed by C Corporations, and income tax returns filed by trusts or estates. MDR will automatically provide this relief, so no further action is necessary from filers. Penalties and interest will begin to accrue on any unpaid balances as of July 16, 2020.

How can I help during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Stay up to date with the latest information from the Show-Me State by visiting the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services website.

The best way for everyone to help slow the spread of COVID-19 is to practice social distancing and good hygiene. Practice social distancing by putting at least six feet between you and others. Avoid social gatherings of 10 or more people, as well as close contact with people who are sick. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.