WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue have announced up to an additional $14 billion dollars for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19.
After listening to feedback received from farmers, ranchers and agricultural organizations about the impact of the pandemic on our nations’ farms and ranches, USDA developed a program to better meet the needs of those impacted. The praise for CFAP 2 has been widespread.
“This lifeline will keep farmers and ranchers afloat as they continue to keep America’s pantries stocked,” said Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau Federation president.
“This additional support will help our producers as they continue to navigate the challenges created by the pandemic,” said U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa). “I especially applaud the USDA for heeding my calls to include Iowa’s turkey farmers in this new round of relief.”
“Once again, I thank President Trump and Secretary Perdue for their efforts to ensure American farmers, ranchers, and growers can continue to feed the country and the world amidst depressed commodity prices and disrupted markets,” said U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee.
“ICGA thanks the Trump administration and Secretary Perdue for understanding and providing aid to corn farmers who have experienced the worst year of market demand loss due to COVID-19 on top of extreme weather conditions,” said Iowa Corn Growers Association President Carl Jardon.
“I want to thank President Trump and his team at USDA for the much-needed assistance,” said Rick Pate, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries. “Our farmers and ranchers have fed this nation during these challenging times at a substantial financial loss. These funds, along with programs being implemented by our department, will hopefully help agriculture in Alabama.”
Signup for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) began Sept. 21 and runs through Dec. 11, 2020.
USDA will use funds being made available from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act and CARES Act to support row crops, livestock, specialty crops, dairy, aquaculture and many additional commodities. USDA has incorporated improvements in CFAP 2 based from stakeholder engagement and public feedback to better meet the needs of impacted farmers and ranchers.
Producers can apply for CFAP 2 at USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices. This program provides financial assistance that gives producers the ability to absorb increased marketing costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Producers will be compensated for ongoing market disruptions and assisted with the associated marketing cost
CFAP 2 payments will be made for three categories of commodities — price trigger commodities, flat-rate crops and sales commodities.
Price trigger commodities
Price trigger commodities are major commodities that meet a minimum 5 percent price decline over a specified period of time. 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 Aug. 31, 2020. The milk production for Sept. 1, 2020, to Dec. 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 Apr. 16, 2020, and Aug. 31, 2020.
Crops that either do not meet the 5-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, extra-long staple (ELS) cotton, oats, peanuts, rice, hemp, millet, mustard, safflower, sesame, triticale, rapeseed, and several others.
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 www.farmers.gov/cfap.
There is a payment limitation of $250,000 per person or entity for all commodities combined. Applicants who are corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships may qualify for additional payment limits when members actively provide personal labor or personal management for the farming operation. In addition, this special payment limitation provision has been expanded to include trusts and estates for both CFAP 1 and 2.
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.
Applications will be accepted through Dec. 11, 2020. Additional information and application forms can be found at www.farmers.gov/cfap.