CFAP Program Increases Eligibility
After receiving over 1,700 public comments, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is increasing eligibility for those who qualify for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) payments, adding around 60 additional commodities, such as all sheep producers, liquid and frozen egg producers, specialty crops, aquaculture, and nursery crops and flowers.
The USDA also extended the sign-up deadline to September 11, 2020. The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program provides direct relief to producers who faced price declines and additional marketing costs due to COVID-19, but there are still commodities that have yet to be eligible for any financial assistance related to COVID-19 impacts.
Applications for commodities announced on August 11th will be accepted beginning the week of August 17th. If a producer submitted a CFAP application for a previously ineligible commodity, and the application was disapproved, the producer must submit a new CFAP application. If the producer submitted an application and was paid for CFAP but also has crops that are now considered eligible or are now eligible for The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funding for sales losses, the producer should not submit a new application, but rather, contact the local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office to amend the application.
Additionally, producers who have already been approved for CFAP payments initially received 80% of the total payment. Starting August 11, 2020, FSA will automatically issue the remaining 20% of the total calculated payment to producers and, going forward, will pay the full 100% of the total payment, not to exceed the payment limit, to producers when their applications are approved.
Producers, especially those who have not worked with FSA previously, are recommended to call 877-508-8364 to begin the application process. An FSA staff member can help producers start their application during the phone call.
“President Trump is standing with America’s farmers and ranchers to ensure they get through this pandemic and continue to produce enough food and fiber to feed America and the world. That is why he authorized this $16 billion of direct support in the CFAP program and today we are pleased to add additional commodities eligible to receive much needed assistance,” said Secretary Perdue, in a USDA press release. “CFAP is just one of the many ways USDA is helping producers weather the impacts of the pandemic. From deferring payments on loans to adding flexibilities to crop insurance and reporting deadlines, USDA has been leveraging many tools to help producers.”