The first payments for farmers and ranchers have been issued through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that CFAP payments totaling more than $545 million have been approved by the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA). A total of $16 billion in financial assistance is being made available through CFAP, which was one of the components of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) act.
“The coronavirus has hurt America’s farmers, ranchers, and producers, and these payments directed by President Trump will help this critical industry weather the current pandemic so they can continue to plant and harvest a safe, nutritious, and affordable crop for the American people,” Perdue said in a news release. “We have tools and resources available to help producers understand the program and enable them to work with Farm Service Agency staff to complete applications as smoothly and efficiently as possible and get payments into the pockets of our patriotic farmers.”
FSA has received more than 86,000 applications for CFAP since the application period began on May 26. FSA will continue to accept applications from eligible producers through August 28. The financial assistance is being provided to producers who have endured a five percent or greater decline in prices related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Producers of agricultural products who have encountered additional market costs stemming from a decline in demand, surplus production, disruptions in shipping, or the orderly marketing of commodities are all eligible for producers of agricultural commodities are all eligible for CFAP payments.
Producers can find more information about the CFAP application process online, as well as a payment calculator to help estimate potential payments. Eligible applications will receive 80 percent of the maximum payment amount upon approval, with the remaining portion within the payment limitation levels to be issued at a later date.