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28 ag groups ask Perdue to extend CFAP deadline28 ag groups ask Perdue to extend CFAP deadline

$6.8 billion paid to producers as of Aug. 3; USDA encouraged to increase engagement activities.

Farm Progress Staff

August 7, 2020

3 Min Read
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The American Farm Bureau Federation is asking USDA to extend the application deadline for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. USDA is accepting aid applications through Aug. 28 and as of Aug. 3, more than $6.8 billion has been paid to producers.

The up to $16 million in direct financial assistance comes from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and other existing USDA authorities.

“The fact that there is still money available should not lead anyone to believe that the needs of America’s farmers have all been met," said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. "Farmers and ranchers are still struggling to make ends meet and the pandemic is far from over. We need to increase awareness and that means USDA turning it up a notch, along with ag groups. We’re certainly working to ensure those eligible know the aid is available.”

AFBF, together with 27 other ag groups, sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting farmers be given more time to apply for the assistance.

"We write today to express our concern that the August 28 CFAP deadline may exclude eligible producers from participating in the program -- including producers of commodities that were recently added to the list of eligible commodities and commodities that are likely to become eligible through the NOFA (Notice of Funding Availability) process," the letter reads.

Related:What grain farmers need to know with CFAP

The letter also asks Perdue to increase producer and stakeholder engagement activities.

"While the department has done a commendable job in reaching out to all affected parties, communication and outreach by FSA staff has likely been significantly impacted by the lack of face-to-face interactions; in addition, many producers eligible for CFAP may have had limited or no previous interaction with FSA staff," the letter reads.

USDA is also encouraged to announce second tranche payments and further review CFAP eligibility criteria including sales dates, second tranche payment rates and market contract eligibility.

"While we appreciate the flexibility provided within the CFAP payment limit structure for entities structured as corporations, we continue to believe that the limits are too restrictive and disproportionately impact specialty crops, dairy, hogs and cattle producers," the letter reads.

In addition to AFBF, the following organizations signed the letter:

  1. Agricultural Retailers Association

  2. American Seed Trade Association

  3. American Sheep Industry Association

  4. AmericanHort

  5. Association of Equipment Manufacturers

  6. Biotechnology Innovation Organization

  7. California Citrus Mutual

  8. Nation Onion Association

  9. National Aquaculture Association

  10. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

  11. National Cotton Council

  12. National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

  13. National Milk Producers Federation

  14. National Potato Council

  15. National Sorghum Producers

  16. North American Blueberry Council

  17. Produce Marketing Association

  18. Rural & Agriculture Council of America

  19. Society of American Florists

  20. Southwest Council of Agribusiness

  21. Texas Citrus Mutual

  22. Texas International Produce Association

  23. U.S. Apple Association

  24. United Fresh Produce Association

  25. United States Cattlemen’s Association

  26. Washington State Potato Commission

  27. Western Growers

Related:Additional commodities eligible for CFAP

On June 30, Perdue predicted the $16 billion in direct payments wouldn't be enough.

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About the Author(s)

Farm Progress Staff

/author/compiled-by-staff, Farm Progress


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