U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) approved more than $545 million in payments to farmers and ranchers who have applied for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.
FSA began taking applications May 26, and the agency has received more than 86,000 applications for the program.
“The coronavirus has hurt America’s farmers, ranchers and producers, and these payments directed by President Trump will help this critical industry weather the current pandemic so they can continue to plant and harvest a safe, nutritious and affordable crop for the American people,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said. “We have tools and resources available to help producers understand the program and enable them to work with Farm Service Agency staff to complete applications as smoothly and efficiently as possible and get payments into the pockets of our patriotic farmers.”
In the first six days of the application period, FSA made payments to more than 35,000 farmers and ranchers.
The top five states for CFAP payments are Illinois, Kansas, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and South Dakota.
In Texas, there were 746 applications for non-specialty crops and $1.15 million in payments was issued.
For specialty crops, there were 41 Texas applications and $179,755 made in payments.
There were 8,920 livestock applications and $20.3 million in payments issued to ranchers in the Lone Star State. For dairy, $3.18 million in payments were made and 66 applications were received.
USDA released data on application progress and program payments Thursday, June 5, and will continue to release further updates each Monday at 2:00 p.m. ET. Click here to view this week’s report.
FSA will accept applications through Aug. 28, 2020.
Through CFAP, USDA is making available $16 billion in financial assistance to farmers and ranchers 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 commodities.
Farmers and ranchers 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 nationwide, as funds remain available.
Getting Help from FSA
New customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP application process can call 877.508.8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer general assistance. This is a recommended first step before a farmer or rancher engages the team at the FSA county office at their local USDA Service Center.
Farmers and ranchers can download the CFAP application and other eligibility forms from farmers.gov/cfap. Also, on the web page, producers can find a payment calculator to help identify sales and inventory records needed to apply and calculate potential payments. Farmers and ranchers self-certify their records when applying for CFAP and that documentation is not submitted with the application. However, producers may be asked for their documentation to support the certification of eligible commodities, so producers should retain the information used to complete their application.
Those who use the online calculator tool will be able to print a pre-filled CFAP application, sign it and submit it to your local FSA office either electronically or via hand delivery through an office drop box. Contact your local office to determine the preferred delivery method for your local office. Team members at FSA county offices will be able to answer detailed questions and help farmers and ranchers apply quickly and efficiently through phone and online tools.
FSA has been working with stakeholder groups to provide further clarification to farmers and ranchers on the CFAP program. The agency has published a matrix of common marketing contracts that impact eligibility for non-specialty crops and has provided a table that crosswalks common livestock terms to CFAP cattle categories. Updated information can be found in the frequently asked questions section of the CFAP website.
To find the latest information on CFAP, visit farmers.gov/CFAP or call 877.508.8364.
USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only, and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. While program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with farmers and ranchers by phone and using online tools whenever possible.