The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that signup has reopened for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) as part of the Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. The initial CFAP 2 signup ended on Dec. 11, 2020, but USDA has reopened sign-up for CFAP 2 for at least 60 days beginning April 5, 2021, for producers to apply or make modifications to existing CFAP 2 applications.
CFAP 2 program provides direct financial relief to producers due to market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19.
“Most of the crops and livestock raised in Vermont are eligible commodities for this program,” said Lana Walden, Acting State Executive Director for FSA. “If you missed getting an application in last fall, you now have the opportunity to apply for assistance. Our staff will help you through the application process, or if you need to make any modifications to your existing application.”
Row crops, livestock, dairy, specialty crops, aquaculture and more all are eligible for the CFAP 2, including the recent addition of pullets and turfgrass sod. Producers are encouraged to visit farmers.gov/cfap to review eligible commodities and learn about the payment structure for each. CFAP 2 is a separate program from the first iteration of the program (CFAP 1) and interested producers must complete a new application to be eligible for payment for CFAP 2.
Producers are encouraged to call their local county FSA office for guidance on the process to complete an application. Producers also have the option to visit farmers.gov/cfap and access the online application portal or learn about other application options. A call center is available for producers who would like additional one-on-one support with the CFAP 2 application process. Please call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance.
Additional CFAP Payments for Beef and Row-Crop Producers
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, authorizes an increase in CFAP 1 payment rates for cattle. Cattle producers with approved CFAP 1 applications will automatically receive these payments and do not need to submit a new application since payments are based on previously approved CFAP 1 applications. Producers may be asked for additional information depending on how they filed the original application. Information on the additional payment rates for cattle can be found on farmers.gov/cfap.
This act also authorized additional CFAP assistance of $20 per acre for producers of eligible CFAP 2 flat-rate or price trigger commodities. FSA will automatically issue payments to eligible producers based on the eligible acres included on their CFAP 2 applications. Eligible producers do not need to submit a new CFAP 2 application.
Additional CFAP Actions
FSA has also begun payment processing applications filed as part of the CFAP Additional Assistance program in the following categories:
• Applications filed for pullets and turfgrass sod;
• A formula correction for row-crop producer applications to allow producers with a non-Actual Production History (APH) insurance policy to use 100% of the 2019 Agriculture Risk Coverage-County Option (ARC-CO) benchmark yield in the calculation; and
• Sales commodity applications revised to include insurance indemnities, Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program payments, and Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus payments.
Additional payments for swine producers and contract growers under CFAP Additional Assistance remain on hold and are likely to require modifications to the regulation as part of the broader evaluation and future assistance; however, FSA will continue to accept applications from interested producers.
Service Center staff continue to work with agricultural producers via phone, email, and other digital tools. Because of the pandemic, some USDA Service Centers are open to limited visitors. Contact your Service Center to set up an in-person or phone appointment. Additionally, more information related to USDA’s response and relief for producers can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.