USDA announces direct assistance to farmers
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) provides vital financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a 5 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. Non-specialty crops and wool Non-specialty crops eligible for CFAP payments include malting barley, canola, corn, upland cotton, millet, oats, soybeans, sorghum, sunflowers, durum wheat, and hard red spring wheat. Wool is also eligible. Producers will be paid based on inventory subject to price risk held as of Jan. 15. A payment will be made based on 50 percent of a producer’s 2019 total production or the 2019 inventory as of Jan. 15, whichever is smaller, multiplied by the commodity’s applicable payment rates. Livestock Livestock eligible for CFAP include cattle, lambs, yearlings and hogs. The total payment will be calculated using the sum of the producer’s number of livestock sold between Jan. 15 and April 15, multiplied by the payment rates per head, and the highest inventory number of livestock between April 16 and May 14, multiplied by the payment rate per head. Specialty crops For eligible specialty crops, the total payment will be based on the volume of production sold between Jan. 15 and April 15; the volume of production shipped, but unpaid; and the number of acres for which harvested production did not leave the farm or mature product destroyed or not harvested during that same time period, and which have not and will not be sold. Specialty crops include, but are not limited to, almonds, beans, broccoli, sweet corn, lemons, iceberg lettuce, spinach, squash, strawberries and tomatoes. A full list of eligible crops can be found on farmers.gov/cfap. Additional crops may be deemed eligible at a later date. Applying for assistance Producers can apply for assistance and receive additional information at farmers.gov/cfap. Producers of all eligible commodities will apply through their local FSA office. Documentation to support the producer’s application and certification may be requested. FSA has streamlined the signup process to not require an acreage report at the time of application and a USDA farm number may not be immediately needed. Applications will be accepted through Aug. 28. USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only, and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus. Or contact the Farm Service Agency at the Versailles Service Center by calling 859-873-3411, ext 2.