On Friday, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced an additional $14 billion in aid for farms and ranches impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, known as CFAP 2, began on Monday and will be open through December 11, 2020.
“America’s agriculture communities are resilient, but still face many challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “We listened to feedback received from farmers, ranchers and agricultural organizations about the impact of the pandemic on our nations’ farms and ranches, and we developed a program to better meet the needs of those impacted.”
The funds for the program come from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act. The announcement said the USDA took into account “stakeholder engagement and public feedback” to improve CFAP 2.
Payments will go towards price trigger commodities, including wheat, milk, meat, and eggs, which had at least a 5-percent decline; flat-rate crops, which do not meet the price decline or have data to prove a decline, including alfalfa, cotton, and peanuts; and sales commodities including specialty crops.
The USDA said “if your agricultural operation has been impacted by the pandemic since April 2020, we encourage you to apply for CFAP 2.” Producers will need to prove that they meet income limits, are in compliance with conservation provisions, and that at least 75 percent of their income comes from farming or ranching.
There is a limit of a $250,000 payment per entity for all commodities a farm or business produces. Additional payment limits are possible for companies in some circumstances. The announcement included a link to a list of eligible items and payment calculations.