COVID-19 Resources
Last update: 10:30 a.m. on May 27, 2020.

Major Agriculture Milestones

  • April 28, 2020: The Missouri Department of Transportation announced an extension of the 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. The permit is available until June 15, 2020. To see the specific criteria, click here.
  • April 28, 2020: President Trump signed an executive order to ensure the nation continues to have a reliable and abundant food supply. The Defense Production Act now classifies protein processors as critical infrastructure and orders plants to continue to operate. To ensure worker safety, processors will continue to follow the latest guidelines from the CDC and OSHA.
  • April 24, 2020: President Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act into law. This allows for additional funding for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. You can apply for the Paycheck Protection Program through any existing SBA lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and participating Farm Credit System institution. You can find your local Small Business Administration (SBA) District Office by clicking here.
  • April 17, 2020: United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). This program will take several actions to assist farmers, ranchers and consumers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To read more about the new CFAP program, click here.
  • April 9, 2020: The USDA announced that Marketing Assistance Loans (MAL) will mature at 12 months rather than nine for most commodities. The maturity extension applies to nonrecourse loans for crop years 2018, 2019 and 2020. Loans that matured March 31 have been automatically extended by USDA’s Farm Service Agency. For more information, click here or contact your local FSA county office.

Earlier Milestones

  • April 8, 2020: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has expanded and extended the National Emergency Declaration, which allows hours-of-service relief for commercial vehicles delivering direct relief in response to COVID-19 until May 15.
  • April 3, 2020: Governor Mike Parson announced a statewide Stay Home Missouri order. The order again recognized agriculture, and the agricultural workforce, as essential in accordance with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security guidance. For more information and a list of frequently asked questions, click here.
  • April 2, 2020: The Small Business Administration released additional information about agriculture qualifications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Agricultural producers are eligible to participate and should reach out to their agricultural lenders to apply immediately; although, some may be working through the recently released details. Loans will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. You can apply through any existing SBA lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and participating Farm Credit System institution. You can find your local Small Business Administration (SBA) District Office by clicking here.
  • 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.

      On Friday, May 1, 2020, Pearson Vue owned test centers in Missouri began operating at 50% capacity with testing priority given to essential services. There are independently owned test centers that remain open as well, however these test centers are able to make the determination when it is safe for them to reopen. For more information and available test centers please click here or call 866-221-6481.

    • 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.
    • Rural Electric Cooperatives: Missouri waived two restrictions within law that will allow for rural electric cooperatives to meet and vote in a manner they deem necessary. For more information, click here.

    Farmer, Rancher & 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.

    Who is responsible for meat and poultry inspection regulations?

    USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is the lead agency for meat inspection. The food safety requirements for establishments are set by the Federal Meat Inspection Act and the Poultry Products Inspection Act. Meat inspection and food safety regulations, including those for food bank donations, are passed down from the federal level. Our Meat & Poultry Inspection team at the Missouri Department of Agriculture is one of many important state cooperative programs across the United States – they are proud to ensure a safe food supply for Missouri. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our team of inspectors has been hard at work conducting food safety inspections and working with prospective establishment owners to meet the requirements necessary to process and sell their meat products.

    For more information on USDA’s FSIS program, visit https://www.fsis.usda.gov/. For more information on our Meat and Poultry Inspection Program, visit https://agriculture.mo.gov/animals/health/inspections/.

    What does Governor Parson’s Show Me Strong Recovery Plan mean for agriculture?

    Governor Parson announced Missouri’s Show Me Strong Recovery Plan on May 4, 2020. During this phase, we are gradually reopening economic and social activity. This is a deliberate process, and is flexible to adapt to the situation. Some communities may be able to reopen at a faster rate, while others may need to continue restrictions to keep the virus from spreading. During this time, we should limit our activity and interactions and continue to maintain social distancing and practice good hygiene to protect our neighbors and ourselves.

    For more information on the Show Me Strong Recovery Plan, visit ShowMeStrong.Mo.Gov.

    What does the new USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program mean for Missouri farmers and ranchers?

    On Friday, April 17, 2020, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the creation of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). CFAP will use the funding and authorities provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES), the Families First Coronavirus Response ACT (FFCRA), and other USDA existing authorities.

    The CFAP program consists of:

    • Commodity Purchases
      • USDA will partner with regional and local distributors, whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of many restaurants, hotels, and other food service entities, to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat.
    • Direct Support to Farmers and Ranchers
      • The program will provide $16 billion in direct support based on actual losses for agricultural producers where prices and market supply chains have been impacted and will assist producers with additional adjustment and marketing costs resulting from lost demand and short-term oversupply for the 2020 marketing year caused by COVID-19.
      • Farmers and ranchers who are eligible for CFAP assistance can contact their local FSA office to submit their applications now through August 28, 2020.

    For more information, click here.

    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.

    On April 28, President Trump signed an executive order to ensure the nation continues to have a reliable and abundant food supply. The Defense Production Act now classifies protein processors as critical infrastructure and orders plants to continue to operate. To ensure worker safety, processors will continue to follow the latest guidelines from the CDC and OSHA.

    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 May 13, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration expanded and extended the National Emergency Declaration, which will allow hours-of-service relief for commercial vehicles delivering direct relief in response to COVID-19 (medical, food, temporary housing, etc.) until June 14.

    Weight

    On March 25, the Missouri Department of Transpiration 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. This includes shipments of livestock, poultry, fertilizer, feed and fuels.

    • 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, fertilizer, 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 until June 15, 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 and Advance 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.

    Agricultural producers are eligible to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program, and should reach out to their agricultural lenders to apply immediately. Loans will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. You can apply through any existing SBA lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and participating Farm Credit System institution. You can find your local Small Business Administration (SBA) District Office by clicking here.

    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.

    The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services guidance for farmers’ market operators can be found here.

    Missouri Grown has developed a Business Resources sheet to assist agriculture businesses proactively respond to COVID-19.

    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.

    On April 13, the Missouri Department of Revenue announced that is extending the June 15, 2020, estimated tax payment deadline to July 15, 2020. This reflects federal guidance issued by the Internal Revenue Service. Any individual or corporation that has a quarterly estimated tax payment due on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020, can wait until July 15 to make that payment without penalty.

    On April 14, the Missouri Department of Revenue extended the deadline to file returns for Missouri partnership income (Form MO-1065) from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. This announcement reflects federal guidance issued on April 13 by the Internal Revenue Service.

    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, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

    What should both veterinarians and pet owners know about companion animals and COVID-19?

    Many questions have come up regarding pets and their veterinary care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Animal Health team has compiled many of the frequently asked questions from pet owners into one helpful document.

    Veterinarians are encouraged to use this document to help explain COVID-19 and its relation to companion animals. Veterinarians may also have questions about how to keep their clinics safe for both pets and their owners during the pandemic. Helpful tips may be found in this guidance document as well.