Farmers can start applying for $16 billion in agricultural aid on May 26, said Agriculture Secretary Sony Perdue during a Monday night virtual “rural town hall.”

Checks, Perdue said, will start flowing to producers seven to 10 days later. The Office of Management and Budget cleared the plan Friday.

The $16 billion will be distributed in direct payments to farms and ranches across the U.S. that have been hard-hit by plunging prices and losses caused by COVID-19 shutdowns.

{span}“This aid can’t arrive soon enough as many farmers file for bankruptcy, facing unprecedented losses,” Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, said in a statement Tuesday.{/span}

The package, called the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, is part of the $2 trillion Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act that Congress passed in March.

An additional $3 billion is going to directly buy farm goods from distributors in a USDA food box program that started this week.

The application window will remain open through August, but Perdue said he anticipates most producers will apply much sooner.

The department confirmed it will publish details of the final $16 billion payment package any day now.

“You remind us once again that the American farmer is the backbone of our country,” said President Trump Tuesday morning at the White House, surrounded by farmers and industry leaders.

Although many farmers at the event said they were thankful for the support, others expressed their desire to see restaurants reopen, saying they wanted trade, not aid.

“I don’t think we need to look at doing different things in our food supply chain,” Perdue said, predicting that current supply chain disruptions will be resolved soon. He said he anticipates that high grocery store prices will level out as restaurants, schools, meatpacking plants and other businesses reopen.

The upcoming aid package will be distributed among livestock industries, row crop growers, specialty crop growers and other sectors, but the USDA has not yet confirmed final numbers.

According to USDA statements, the agency will soon release information on how to apply.

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