USDA Announces Coronavirus Food Assistance Program for Farmers and Ranchers

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U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently announced details of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to deliver relief to America’s farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Beginning May 26, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), through the Farm Service Agency (FSA), will be accepting applications from agricultural producers who have suffered losses. CFAP will provide financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a five percent or greater price decline due to COVID-19 and face additional marketing costs as a result of lower demand, surplus production, disruptions to shipping patterns, and the orderly marketing of commodities.

There are specialty and non-specialty crops that will be considered as well as livestock. Program sign up begins May 26 and ends August 28. Producers can download the CFAP application and other eligibility forms on the USDA website. On that webpage, producers can find a payment calculator to help identify sales and inventory records needed to apply, crops, and livestock considered under this program, and calculate potential payments.

Farmers in search of one-on-one support with the CFAP application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance and answer questions. This is a good first step before a producer engages the team at the FSA county office at their local USDA Service Center.