More Money Available for Farmers Impacted by Pandemic
On September 17th, the United States Department (USDA) released details of a new version of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) for agricultural producers. It is open for applications between September 21st and December 11th.
NOC and other allies have advocated for better targeted support for organic and diversified farmers. CFAP2 is an improvement over the first round of CFAP. CFAP2 expands the timeframe of losses covered. CFAP 1 was only for mid-January through mid-April, whereas CFAP2 expands the coverage timeframe, often until the end of the calendar year, for many crop categories, which has been a NOC request.
The program also provides assistance to diversified operations in a new way – farmers of specialty crops (full list here), specialty livestock (full list here), floriculture and nursery crops (full list here), goat milk (details here), and aquaculture (full list here) receive a payment based on their 2019 revenues for eligible products. This approach may be helpful to many organic operations.
For cow milk dairy producers, the payment will be a calculation based on both actual milk production between April 1 and August 31, and estimated milk production until December, multiplied by a payment rate.
While the program offers some improvements, it represents a missed opportunity to prioritize support to those most in need during a time of major pain in agriculture. The program still lacks specific set-asides for producers historically underserved by USDA aid, particularly farmers of color. Read NSAC’s comment here.
To apply, farms will need to work with the Farm Service Agency to fill out the CFAP 2 application and eligibility paperwork. Application materials and process are laid out here: https://www.farmers.gov/cfap/apply
- To apply at your local FSA office, use the USDA’s Service Center Locator here.
- Farmers can use FSA’s call center for one-on-one support. Call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance. Customers will select 1 for English and 2 to speak with a Spanish speaking employee. For other languages, customers select 1 and indicate their language to the Call Center staff.
- More information from USDA is available here: https://www.farmers.gov/cfap
- Organic Farmers Association Information for Producers: https://organicfarmersassociation.org/news/usda-announces-second-round-of-farm-payments-for-coronavirus/
- The CFAP 2 FAQ page is here: https://www.farmers.gov/cfap/faq
- Informational webinar for producers (9-24-20 at 3 PM ET) registration here: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/outreach-and-education/webinars/index