Farmers have until Dec. 11 to apply for a second round of aid through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). Up to $14 billion will be used to help farmers devastated by the economic disaster caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“That is a hard deadline,” said Bob White, INFB’s director of national government relations. “It is not likely to be extended.”
Almost $10 billion from the first CFAP provided much-needed support to livestock, dairy, non-specialty and specialty crop producers throughout the country, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
AFBF economist Michael Nepveux said that an examination of the first few weeks of payments under CFAP2 shows that nearly $2 billion in payments had been made as of Oct. 6.
“Most of the payments are concentrated in Midwestern states, with six of those states accounting for just over half of the payments,” he said. Those states are Indiana, along with Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
CFAP2 payments are broken into three categories:
- Price trigger commodities. In order to qualify for a payment under the price trigger commodity category, the commodity must have suffered a 5% or greater national price decline based on a comparison of the average prices for the weeks of Jan. 13-17, 2020, and July 27-31, 2020.
- Flat-rate commodities. These commodities either do not meet the 5%-or-greater national price decline trigger or do not have data available to calculate a price change. These row crops without price information will be eligible for a $15-per-acre base payment.
- Sales commodities, which include specialty crops, aquaculture and other commodities not included in the price trigger and flat-rate categories. For sales commodities, payment calculations will be based on a producer’s 2019 sales.
Crops are receiving the bulk of the payments – 56%, Nepveux said. They are followed by livestock, dairy, and sales commodities, in that order. In total payments, CFAP2 is ahead of CFAP1 when comparing the first 14 days of both programs’ payments, but with fewer states accounting for payments.
“Farmers and ranchers saw demand for their markets disappear during the initial shockwave of the pandemic. Even though concerns over food supplies have now subsided, the economic hardships are still taking their toll on farm families across the country,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “We don’t know when this pandemic will end, and we are still feeling the effects of trade imbalances and severe weather. This lifeline will keep farmers and ranchers afloat as they continue to keep America’s pantries stocked.”
For more information on signup, go to www.farmers.gov/CFAP.