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USDA to Provide Additional Direct Assistance to Farmers and Ranchers Impacted by the Coronavirus
USDA announced up to an additional $14 billion for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19. Sign-up for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) will begin September 21 and run through December 11, 2020.
CFAP 2 payments will be made for three categories of commodities - Price Trigger Commodities, Flat-rate Crops and Sales Commodities, as described below:

Price Trigger Commodities
Price trigger commodities are major commodities that meet a minimum five-percent price decline over a specified period. Eligible price trigger crops include barley, corn, sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers, upland cotton, and all classes of wheat. Payments will be based on 2020 planted acres of the crop, excluding prevented planting and experimental acres. Payments for price trigger crops will be the greater of: 1) the eligible acres multiplied by a payment rate of $15 per acre; or 2) the eligible acres multiplied by a nationwide crop marketing percentage, multiplied by a crop-specific payment rate, and then by the producer’s weighted 2020 Actual Production History (APH) approved yield. If the APH is not available, 85 percent of the 2019 Agriculture Risk Coverage-County Option (ARC-CO) benchmark yield for that crop will be used.

For broilers and eggs, payments will be based on 75 percent of the producers’ 2019 production. Dairy (cow’s milk) payments will be based on actual milk production from April 1 to August 31, 2020. The milk production for September 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020, will be estimated by FSA. Eligible beef cattle, hogs and pigs, and lambs and sheep payments will be based on the maximum owned inventory of eligible livestock, excluding breeding stock, on a date selected by the producer, between April 16, 2020, and August 31, 2020.

Flat-rate Crops
Crops that either do not meet the five-percent price decline trigger or do not have data available to calculate a price change will have payments calculated based on eligible 2020 acres multiplied by $15 per acre. These crops include alfalfa, oats, hemp, millet, mustard, safflower, sesame, triticale, rapeseed, and several others.

Sales Commodities
Sales commodities include specialty crops; aquaculture; nursery crops and floriculture; other commodities not included in the price trigger and flat-rate categories, including tobacco; goat milk; mink (including pelts); mohair; wool; and other livestock (excluding breeding stock) not included under the price trigger category that were grown for food, fiber, fur, or feathers. Payment calculations will use a sales-based approach, where producers are paid based on five payment gradations associated with their 2019 sales. Additional commodities are eligible in CFAP 2 that weren’t eligible in the first iteration of the program. If your agricultural operation has been impacted by the pandemic since April 2020, we encourage you to apply for CFAP 2. A complete list of eligible commodities, payment rates and calculations can be found on farmers.gov/cfap.

Applying for Assistance
Producers can apply for assistance beginning September 21, 2020. Applications will be accepted through December 11, 2020. Additional information and application forms can be found at farmers.gov/cfap. Documentation to support the producer’s application and certification may be requested. All other eligibility forms, such as those related to adjusted gross income and payment information, can be downloaded from farmers.gov/cfap/apply. For existing FSA customers, including those who participated in CFAP 1, many documents are likely already on file. Producers should check with FSA county office to see if any of the forms need to be updated.

Customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP 2 application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) employee ready to help. This is a recommended first step before a producer engages with the team at the FSA county office.
 

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