By Anna Johnson, policy manager, Center for Rural Affairs
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) opened applications on Sept. 21 for the new Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2). This program will offer payments to farmers and ranchers who may have suffered economic impacts caused by the coronavirus.
Many farmers and ranchers are eligible to apply for CFAP 2. This includes row crop and livestock producers, as well as those who produce newly-eligible commodities such as broilers and eggs, additional specialty crops, and specialty livestock. Those who received support through the first CFAP program are also invited to apply.
Under CFAP 2 the method of calculating payments has changed. The program categorizes commodities based on market impacts they experienced, and payment formulas vary by commodity. For example, payment for many livestock producers will be based on their maximum inventory between April 16 and Aug. 31, and applying is very simple. Alternatively, for many fruit and vegetable producers, a payment will be calculated by multiplying the value of 2019 sales by a given percent level. The portion of sales from value-add activities is not eligible for payment.
Farmers and ranchers do not need to provide sales and inventory records when applying, but must keep those records for three years in case their application is selected for follow-up review.
Applications will be accepted until Dec. 11. Farmers and ranchers can call their local Farm Services Agency office to apply; office phone numbers are listed at offices.usda.gov. Visit farmers.gov/cfap to learn about applying online.