MEMBER ALERT: Details Released on Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

(May 19, 2020) – Today, President Donald J. Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced details of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).

USCA’s Marketing and Competition Committee is reviewing the details released this morning and will provide our members with additional information and clarification on the process soon.

Here’s what we know so far:

CFAP provides vital financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a five-percent-or-greater price decline due to COVID-19 and face additional significant marketing costs as a result of lower demand, surplus production, and disruptions to shipping patterns and the orderly marketing of commodites.

Eligibility

There is a payment limitation of $250,000 per person or entity for all commodities combined. Applicants who are corporations, limited liability companies or limited partnerships may qualify for additional payment limits where members actively provide personal labor or personal management for the farming operation. Producers will also have to certify they meet the Adjusted Gross Income limitation of $900,000 unless at least 75 percent or more of their income is derived from farming, ranching or forestry-related activities. Producers must also be in compliance with Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation provisions.

Applying for Assistance

Producers can apply for assistance beginning on May 26, 2020. Additional information and application forms can be found at farmers.gov/cfap. Producers of all eligible commodities will apply through their local FSA office. Documentation to support the producer’s application and certification may be requested. FSA has streamlined the signup process to not require an acreage report at the time of application and a USDA farm number may not be immediately needed. Applications will be accepted through August 28, 2020.

Payment Structure

To ensure the availability of funding throughout the application period, producers will receive 80 percent of their maximum total payment upon approval of the application. The remaining portion of the payment, not to exceed the payment limit, will be paid at a later date as funds remain available.

How to Apply Once Signup Begins:

USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only. Once the application period opens, please call your FSA county office to schedule an appointment.

FSA staff at local USDA Service Centers will work with producers to file applications. Applications will be submitted electronically either by scanning, emailing, or faxing. Please call your office prior to sending applications electronically.

In addition to the application form, our staff will work with you to complete portions of the CCC-902 – Farm Operating Plan – if necessary. Additionally, the forms listed on www.farmers.gov/cfap will be needed for CFAP; if you are an existing customer, this information is likely on file at your local Service Center.

CFAP Payments for Livestock

A single payment for livestock will be calculated using the sum of the producer’s number of livestock sold between January 15 and April 15, 2020, multiplied by the payment rates per head, and the highest inventory number of livestock between April 16 and May 14, 2020, multiplied by the payment rate per head.

Producers must provide the following information for CFAP:

  • Total sales of eligible livestock, by species and class, between January 15, 2020, to April 15, 2020, of owned inventory as of January 15, 2020, including any offspring from that inventory; and
  • highest inventory of eligible livestock, by species and class, between April 16, 2020, and May 14, 2020.

The following table lists eligible livestock and payment rates for CFAP.

Graph describing livestock payment rates.