The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has updated the list of commodities that are covered under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). Along with the expanded CFAP eligibility, USDA has also included other adjustments to the program after evaluating market data and receiving feedback from the agricultural industry. The application period for the new commodities that were added to the list begins Monday, July 13.
“When we announced this program earlier this year, we asked for public input and received a good response,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a press release. “After reviewing the comments received and analyzing our USDA Market News data, we are adding new commodities, as well as making updates to the program for existing eligible commodities. This is an example of government working for the people – we asked for input and we updated the program based on the comments we received.”
Some of the commodities that have now received CFAP eligibility include pistachios, chives, blackberries, cilantro, passion fruit, Swiss chard, alfalfa sprouts, okra, and mustard. USDA has also expanded coverage to include Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding eligibility for apples, blueberries, garlic, potatoes, raspberries, tangerines, and taro. Those commodities had initially only been eligible for marketing adjustments. Payment rates for certain commodities such as asparagus, cantaloupes, raspberries, and cucumbers have also been adjusted. Peaches and rhubarb will also no longer qualify for payment under the CARES Act sales loss category.
USDA’s Farm Service Agency will continue accepting applications for CFAP assistance through Friday, August 28. Producers with commodities that qualify for CFAP eligibility have multiple options available for submitting an application. Farmers and ranchers can access the online portal to submit applications digitally, mail physical copies of the application, or drop off physical applications at local USDA Service Centers.