In response to public comments and data, USDA is adding commodities to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) and extending the deadline to apply for the program to Sept. 11. In addition, producers with approved applications will receive their final payment.
“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 Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “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.”
The extension comes after the American Farm Bureau Federation and 27 other agricultural organizations sent a letter to Perdue requesting the deadline be extended beyond Aug. 28, 2020.
“We thank USDA for responding quickly to our letter and addressing the needs of America’s farmers and ranchers as they fight to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic," said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. "COVID-19 has taken its toll on farmers across the country, regardless of what they grow or raise. No one can tell when this pandemic will end, and extending the deadline and expanding eligibility will provide a lifeline at a time it’s needed most."
Additional eligible commodities
USDA reviewed more than 1,700 responses and supporting data and decided to extend CFAP assistance to more commodities. The following additional commodities are now eligible for CFAP:
- Specialty Crops - aloe leaves, bananas, batatas, bok choy, carambola (star fruit), cherimoya, chervil (french parsley), citron, curry leaves, daikon, dates, dill, donqua (winter melon), dragon fruit (red pitaya), endive, escarole, filberts, frisee, horseradish, kohlrabi, kumquats, leeks, mamey sapote, maple sap (for maple syrup), mesculin mix, microgreens, nectarines, parsley, persimmons, plantains, pomegranates, pummelos, pumpkins, rutabagas, shallots, tangelos, turnips/celeriac, turmeric, upland/winter cress, water cress, yautia/malanga, and yuca/cassava.
- Non-Specialty Crops and Livestock - liquid eggs, frozen eggs and all sheep. Only lambs and yearlings (sheep less than two years old) were previously eligible.
- Aquaculture - catfish, crawfish, largemouth bass and carp sold live as foodfish, hybrid striped bass, red drum, salmon, sturgeon, tilapia, trout, ornamental/tropical fish, and recreational sportfish.
- Nursery Crops and Flowers - nursery crops and cut flowers.
USDA also made other changes, including:
- Seven commodities – onions (green), pistachios, peppermint, spearmint, walnuts and watermelons – are now eligible for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stability (CARES) Act funding for sales losses. Originally, these commodities were only eligible for payments on marketing adjustments.
- Correcting payment rates for onions (green), pistachios, peppermint, spearmint, walnuts, and watermelons.
Additional details can be found at www.farmers.gov/cfap.
Producers who have applied previously will also receive more money. To ensure availability of funding, producers with approved applications initially received 80% of their payments. The Farm Service Agency will automatically issue the remaining 20% of the calculated payment to eligible producers. Going forward, producers who apply for CFAP will receive 100% of their total payment, not to exceed the payment limit, 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.
On farmers.gov/cfap, producers can:
- Download the AD-3114 application form and manually complete the form to submit to their local USDA Service Center by mail, electronically or by hand delivery to their local office or office drop box.
- Complete the application form using the CFAP Application Generator and Payment Calculator. This Excel workbook allows customers to input information specific to their operation to determine estimated payments and populate the application form, which can be printed, then signed and submitted to their local USDA Service Center.
- If producers have login credentials known as eAuthentication, they can use the online CFAP Application Portal to certify eligible commodities online, digitally sign applications and submit directly to the local USDA Service Center.
- All other eligibility forms, such as those related to adjusted gross income and payment information, can be downloaded from farmers.gov/cfap. For existing FSA customers, these documents are likely already on file.
As of Aug. 10, 2020, USDA has approved 521,853 applications for a total of $7 billion. The majority of payments, $3 billion have went to cattle producers, with milk producers coming in second with $1.3 billion and corn growers third with $1.25 billion. Iowa producers have received the most aid at $713 million.