The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) is being updated to provide support for contract producers left out of previous relief efforts. Livestock and poultry producers along with producers of specialty crops and other sales-based commodities will now be eligible for assistance. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) has established October 12 as the deadline to apply or make modifications to existing applications for CFAP 2. The announcement was welcome news to the agricultural industry.
“While previous CFAP funding addressed many losses, AFBF recognized that contract growers were left out and worked with lawmakers and the administration to ensure all farmers’ voices were being heard,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said in a press release. “We appreciate USDA recognizing the incredible losses farmers endured during the height of the pandemic.”
Up to $1 billion will be made available for payments through the Consolidated Appropriations Act. Financial losses suffered between January 1, 2020, and December 27, 2020, will be covered through the assistance program. USDA has indicated that contract producers of broilers, pullets, layers, chicken eggs, turkeys, hogs and pigs, ducks, geese, pheasants, and quail may be eligible for assistance. Other changes to CFAP 2 include updates to the payment calculations. Eligible farmers can now elect to use 2018 sales numbers in lieu of 2019 figures if they are more representative.
“We listened to feedback and concerns from producers and stakeholders about the gaps in pandemic assistance, and these adjustments to CFAP 2 help address unique circumstances, provide flexibility and make the program more equitable for all producers,” FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux said in a press release. “While additional pandemic assistance remains to be announced in the coming weeks, USDA is also ramping up its efforts to make investments in the food supply chain to Build Back Better.”