USDA recently announced up to an additional $14 billion for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19. Signup for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) began Sept. 21 and will run through Dec. 11, 2020.
Producers can apply for assistance through USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA). Customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP 2 application process can call (877) 508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance. This is a recommended first step before a producer engages with the team at the FSA county office. Options to apply are available on farmers.gov/cfap.
All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including some that are open to visitors to conduct business in person by appointment only. All Service Center visitors wanting to conduct business with FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment. Service Centers that are open for appointments will prescreen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel, and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors are also required to wear a face covering during their appointment. The program delivery staff will be in the office, and they will be working with producers in the office, by phone and using online tools.
CFAP 2 will provide producers with financial assistance that gives them the ability to absorb some of the increased marketing costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Payments will be made for three categories of payment calculations:
- Sales Commodities, including specialty crops, tobacco, and aquaculture, use a sales-based approach, where producers are paid based on five payment gradations associated with their 2019 sales.
- Price trigger commodities, including row crops, livestock and dairy, are major commodities that meet a minimum 5-percent price decline from January through July.
- Flat-rate row crops that do not meet the 5-percent price decline trigger or do not have data available to calculate a price change will have payments calculated based on eligible 2020 acres multiplied by $15 per acre.
A complete list of eligible commodities, payment rates and calculations can be found on farmers.gov/cfap.CFAP 2 has been adapted to better meet the needs of impacted farmers and ranchers. Many more commodities will be eligible in CFAP 2 that weren't eligible in CFAP 1. Newly added commodities include hemp, tobacco, ELS cotton, broilers from non-contract poultry growers, shell and dried eggs, turkeys, bison, all classes of wheat, and many more.
CFAP 2 is subject to a payment limitation of $250,000 per individual or entity. Special payment limitation rules will be applied to participants that are corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships (corporate entities), trusts or estates.
"Frequently Asked Questions" can be found at farmers.gov/cfap/faq.
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