The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has reopened the signup period for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2). Farmers and ranchers will have at least 60 days from April 5 to apply to the program or make modifications to previous applications. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) made the announcement as a part of the new Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. At least $6 billion will be made available to assist producers who have suffered from COVID-related market disruptions. The original signup period for CFAP 2 initially closed in December 2020.
Some of the commodities that are eligible for CFAP 2 assistance include livestock, specialty crops, row crops, dairy, and nursery crops. Information about producer eligibility as well as payment limitations is available through USDA’s online resource. Farmers and ranchers seeking assistance have multiple avenues for applying. Producers can apply through the online application portal or through coordinating with local USDA Service Centers. Applicants who wish to work with their local FSA county office are encouraged to call first to set up an appointment.
As part of the reopening process, USDA will be investing $2 million in outreach efforts. The initiative aims to ensure socially disadvantaged producers have access to CFAP 2 assistance. USDA will be working with partner organizations to enhance outreach efforts and technical assistance availability. The goal is to reach a broader range of farmers and ranchers who are in need of support. Cooperative agreement proposals will need to be submitted by May 5. USDA indicated that applications that primarily focus on CFAP 2 will be expedited. Funding awards will range between $20,000 and $99,999 for a duration between six months and one year.
Some of the updates to CFAP 2 include additional payments of $20 per acre for farmers of eligible flat-rate or price-triggered crops. Payments to the more than 560,000 eligible producers are expected to total more than $4.5 billion. As part of the CFAP Additional Assistance, USDA will also be finalizing routine decisions and making formula adjustments on applications.