Thousands of farmers struggled to keep their businesses running this growing season as farm relief programs proved unworkable for most small-scale, diverse, and value-added producers. But additional aid is on the horizon.
USDA is launching a second round of COVID-19 relief payments that will hopefully reach more farmers who were left out of previous aid programs. Last week, USDA began releasing details of a new version of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP-2), which will provide $13.21 billion in aid to farmers over the next few months to partially compensate for losses incurred between April 1, 2020-August 31, 2020 (or from April 16th for livestock) where prices, markets, and supply chains have been impacted by the pandemic.
CFAP-2 is a separate program but retains most of the elements of CFAP-1 that closed on September 11, 2020. However, CFAP-2 includes significant improvements that are certain to benefit many farmers who weren’t eligible for or compensated fairly by the original program. Eligible commodities for CFAP-2 include row crops, wool, livestock, specialty livestock, dairy, specialty crops, floricutlure and nursery crops, aquaculture, broilers and eggs, and tobacco. Read full details at USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.
CFAP-2 offers new payment options that are more accessible for different growers. For example, the new revenue based option doesn’t require a documented price loss, but is simply based on a farm’s 2019 revenue, which is likely to be a better fit for smaller, diversified, and direct-market growers whose crops were left out in CFAP-1.
Applications are being accepted from September 21 through December 11, 2020. USDA’s Farm Service Agency offers multiple options for producers to apply for CFAP-2:
- Apply online
- Manually complete a download application
- Use the application generator & payment calculator (Excel) to input information specific to your operation to determine estimated payments and populate the application form
- Producers of commodities with flat-rate payments or price trigger crops with acreage reports have the option to complete their application by working directly with their local Farm Service Agency or online through the CFAP-2 Application Portal.
- CFAP-2 application forms & details at USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
- What farmers need to know about CFAP-2 by National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
- Advocacy efforts that brought about these improvements by National Young Farmers Coalition