(AUGUST 27) – On Wednesday, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue told reporters that another round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) could be announced “shortly after Labor Day.”
The Secretary noted that the U.S. Department of Agriculture was looking at offering “CFAP 2” with the additional $14 billion in funds Congress allocated in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security (CARES) Act to replenish the Commodity Credit Corp. (CCC) account after July 1, 2020.
USDA will also address concerns with the way the first round of funding was structured in CFAP2, including the arbitrary cutoff of April 15 for determining losses.
“Agricultural producers continue to be impacted by COVID-19, and USDA is working to assist our farmers and ranchers. Our team will reflect on what worked well under the current CFAP and on the information and feedback we gathered as part of the process to make the next round even stronger and more effective for our producers,” a USDA spokesman said.
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN) wrote to the Secretary on August 21st , requesting clarification on how USDA determined the eligibility of different crops, livestock and poultry species for CFAP payments.
“Some would argue that the full agricultural market impact of the closure of schools, restaurants, catering and agricultural processing facilities due to the COVID-19 public health crisis was not fully realized during the CFAP covered period, with losses for many commodities extending well into the second and third quarters of this year,” he wrote.
USCA met with Under Secretaries Greg Ibach and Bill Northey this week to further discuss needed changes to CFAP. On June 10, USCA sent a letter to Congressional leaders outlining the changes we would like to see in future relief programs. We will continue those discussions with USDA leadership and Capitol Hill in the weeks ahead to ensure the best possible program is made available to U.S. cattle producers.