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Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

Are you a farmer or rancher whose operation has been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic? The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program will provide direct relief to producers who faced price declines and additional marketing costs due to COVID-19.

About the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the Coronavirus Food Assistance program on April 17, 2020. CFAP will use funding and authorities provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and other USDA existing authorities. This $19 billion immediate relief program includes direct support to agricultural producers as well as the Farmers to Families Food Box Program.

CFAP will provide vital financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a five-percent-or-greater price decline or who had losses due to market supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19 and face additional significant market costs. Eligible commodities include:

  • Non-specialty Crops: malting barley, canola, corn, upland cotton, millet, oats, soybeans, sorghum, sunflowers, durum wheat, and hard red spring wheat
  • Wool
  • Livestock: cattle, hogs, and sheep (lambs and yearlings only)
  • Dairy
  • Specialty Crops
    • Fruits: apples, avocados, blueberries, cantaloupe, grapefruit, kiwifruit, lemons, oranges, papaya, peaches, pears, raspberries, strawberries, tangerines, tomatoes, watermelons
    • Vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, dry onions, green onions, peppers, potatoes, rhubarb, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, taro
    • Nuts: almonds, pecans, walnuts
    • Other: beans, mushrooms

USDA will consider additional crops to be eligible for CFAP by collecting information on potentially eligible crops, as outlined under "Request for Additional Commodities" below on this page.

Eligible farmers and ranchers will receive one CFAP payment, drawn from two possible funding sources. The first source of funding is $9.5 billion in appropriated funding provided in the CARES Act and compensates farmers for losses due to price declines that occurred between mid-January 2020, and mid-April 2020 and for specialty crops for product that was shipped and spoiled or unpaid product. The second funding source uses the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act to compensate producers for $6.5 billion in losses due to on-going market disruptions.

Beginning May 26, USDA's Farm Service Agency will be accepting applications from agricultural producers who have suffered losses. While offices are open by phone appointment only, FSA will be working with our agricultural producers by phone and using email and online tools to process applications.

The application form and a payment calculator for producers will be available online once signup begins. A video preview of the payment calculator is currently available.

To learn more about CFAP, download the final rule, notice of funding availability, and cost-benefit analysis.

Program details are specific to agricultural commodities, as outlined below.
 

Non-Specialty Crops

CFAP payments are eligible to producers of non-specialty crops who have suffered a five percent-or-greater price decline over a specified time as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and who face increased marketing costs for inventories.

Non-specialty crops eligible for CFAP payments include malting barley, canola, corn, upland cotton, millet, oats, soybeans, sorghum, sunflowers, durum wheat, and hard red spring wheat.

Visit farmers.gov/cfap/non-specialty for more information on CFAP eligibility and payment details related to non-specialty crops.

Wool

CFAP payments are eligible to wool producers who have suffered a five percent-or-greater price decline over a specified time as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and who face increased marketing costs for inventories.

Producers will be paid based on inventory subject to price risk held as of January 15, 2020. A single payment will be made based on 50 percent of a producer’s 2019 total production or the 2019 inventory as of January 15, 2020, whichever is smaller, multiplied by the commodity’s applicable payment rate.

Producers must provide the following information for CFAP:

  • Total 2019 production for the commodity that suffered a five percent-or-greater price decline, and
  • Total 2019 production that was not sold as of January 15, 2020.

The following table lists wool payment rates for CFAP.

Commodity

Unit of Measure

CARES Act Payment Rate

(Applied against 50% of unpriced inventory as of January 15, 2020, not to exceed 50 percent of 2019 total production)

CCC Payment Rate

(Applied against 50% of unpriced inventory as of January 15, 2020, not to exceed 50 percent of 2019 total production)

Wool (graded, clean basis) pound $0.71 $0.78
Wool (non-graded, greasy basis) pound $0.36 $0.39

Livestock

CFAP assistance is available to livestock producers who have an ownership interest in eligible livestock that have suffered a five percent-or-greater price decline as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and face additional significant costs in marketing their inventories due to unexpected surplus and disrupted markets.

Livestock eligible for CFAP include cattle, hogs, and sheep (lambs and yearlings only).

Visit farmers.gov/cfap/livestock for more information on CFAP eligibility and payment details related to livestock.

Dairy

Dairy Eligibility

CFAP payments are eligible to all dairy operations with milk production in January, February, and/or March 2020. Any dumped milk production during the months of January, February, and March 2020 is eligible for assistance. 

CFAP Payments for Dairy

For dairy, a single payment will be made based on a producer’s certification of milk production for the first quarter of calendar year 2020 multiplied by $4.71 per hundred weight. The second part of the payment is based a national adjustment to each producer’s production in the first quarter multiplied by $1.47 per hundred weight. 

A single payment for dairy will be made calculated from two funding sources. Those include:

  • CARES Act – The payment will compensate producers for price losses during the first quarter of 2020, and
  • CCC Funds – The payment will compensate for marketing channel and demand disruptions for the second quarter of 2020 – April, May, and June – due to COVID-19.

Specialty Crops

Producers of specialty crops are eligible for CFAP payments in the following three categories:

  1. Had crops that suffered a five percent-or-greater price decline between mid-January and mid-April as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,
  2. Had produce shipped but subsequently spoiled due to loss of marketing channel, and
  3. Had shipments that did not leave the farm or mature crops that remained unharvested.  

Visit farmers.gov/cfap/specialty for more information on CFAP eligibility and payment details related to specialty crops.

 

CFAP Eligibility

Eligible producers (person or legal entity) of specified agricultural commodities outlined above who have suffered a five percent-or-greater price decline as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and who face substantial marketing costs for inventories, are eligible for CFAP payments.

To be eligible for payments, a person or legal entity must have an average adjusted gross income of less than $900,000 for tax years 2016, 2017, and 2018. However, if 75 percent of their adjusted gross income comes from farming, ranching, or forestry, the AGI limit of $900,000 does not apply.

Persons and legal entities also must:

  • comply with the provisions of the “Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation” regulations, often called the conservation compliance provisions;
  • if a foreign person, provides land, capital, and a substantial amount of active personal labor to the farming operation; and
  • not have a controlled substance violation.

 

CFAP Payment Limitations and Structure

Payment Limitations

CFAP payments are subject to a per person and legal entity payment limitation of $250,000. This limitation applies to the total amount of CFAP payments made with respect to all eligible commodities.

Unlike other FSA programs, special payment limitation rules will be applied to participants that are corporations, limited liability companies, and limited partnerships (corporate entities). These corporate entities may receive up to $750,000 based upon the number of shareholders (not to exceed three shareholders) who contribute at least 400 hours of active person management or personal active labor.  

For a corporate entity:

  • With one such shareholder the payment limit for the entity is $250,000;
  • With two such shareholders, the payment limit for the entity is $500,000 if at least two members contribute substantial labor or management with respect to the operation of the corporate entity; and
  • With three such shareholders, the limit is $750,000 if at least three members contribute substantial labor or management with respect to the operation of the corporate entity.

Payment Structure

To ensure the availability of funding throughout the application period, producers will receive 80 percent of their maximum total payment upon approval of the application. The remaining portion of the payment, not to exceed the payment limit, will be paid at a later date as funds remain available. 

 

Ineligible Commodities

Commodities that did not suffer a five percent-or-greater price decline from mid-January 2020 to mid-April 2020 are not eligible for CFAP. Specifically, this includes sheep more than two years old, eggs/layers, soft red winter wheat, hard red winter wheat, white wheat, rice, flax, rye, peanuts, feed barley, Extra Long Staple (ELS) cotton, alfalfa, forage crops, hemp, and tobacco. USDA may reconsider the excluded commodities if credible evidence is provided that supports a five percent price decline.

 

Request for Additional Commodities

USDA will consider additional crops to be eligible for CFAP by collecting information on potentially eligible crops. 

Producers of commodities not included on the original CFAP list who believe they’ve suffered a five percent-or-greater price decline between January and April 2020, and who face additional marketing costs due to COVID-19, may submit comments to provide information about additional commodities. 

USDA is particularly interested in the obtaining information with respect to the following specific categories of agricultural commodities:

  • Nursery Products
  • Aquaculture Products
  • Cut Flowers

Comments may be submitted through either of the following methods by June 22, 2020:

  • Federal Rulemaking Portal – Go to regulations.gov and search for Docket ID FSA-2020-0004. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail – Director, SND, FSA, US Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Stop 0522, Washington, DC 20250-0522.

Read more about this notice of funding availability and request for information, or visit farmers.gov/cfap/faq for answers to frequently asked questions.

 

How to Prepare

USDA will begin taking applications for CFAP on May 26. While the application process has not started, you can start gathering and understanding your farm’s recent sales and inventory.

Your local FSA staff will work with you to apply for the program, and through forms that will ask for the following information:

  • Name and address 
  • Personal information, including your Tax Identification Number 
  • Farm operating structure 
  • Adjusted Gross Income compliance certification to ensure eligibility 
  • Direct deposit to enable payment processing

Please do not send any personal information to USDA without first initiating contact through a phone call. We take your privacy and security of your information very seriously. You can find contact information for your local USDA Service Center at the bottom of the page.

 

How to Apply Once Signup Begins

While offices are open for business by phone appointment only, FSA will be working with our agricultural producers by phone and using email and online tools to process applications. Once the application period opens, please call your FSA county office to schedule an appointment.

FSA staff at local USDA Service Centers will work with producers to file applications. Applications will be submitted electronically either by scanning, emailing, or faxing. Please call your office prior to sending applications electronically.

In addition to the application form, our staff will work with you to complete portions of the CCC-902 – Farm Operating Plan – if necessary. Additionally, the following forms will be needed for CFAP; if you are an existing customer, this information is likely on file at your local Service Center.

  • CCC-901 (Also Available in Spanish) – Identifies members of a farm or ranch that is a legal entity. Member Information will be completed by legal entities and joint operations to collect the following:
    • member names, addresses, and Tax Identification Numbers
    • citizenship status
  • CCC-941 (Also Available in Spanish) – Reports your average adjusted gross income for programs where income restrictions apply.
  • CCC-942 – If applicable, this certification reports income from farming, ranching, and forestry, for those exceeding the adjusted gross income limitation.
  • AD-1026 (Also Available in Spanish) – Ensures compliance with highly erodible land conservation and wetland conservation.
  • AD-2047 – Provides basic customer contact information.
  • SF-3881 – Collects your banking information to allow USDA to make payments to you via direct deposit.

FSA has streamlined the signup process to not require an acreage report at the time of application and a USDA farm number may not be immediately needed.

 

New to the Farm Service Agency?

FSA has county offices located at USDA Service Centers across the country. To find your office use the service locator at the bottom of the page.

 

CFAP and Small Business Administration Programs

Participation in SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or Economic Injury Disaster Loan program does not impact producer eligibility for CFAP or for any USDA farm program. The PPP duplicate benefit provision does not have an impact on FSA farm programs or farm loan programs.

 

Resources

  • Frequently Asked Questions: These include recent questions that we have received from producers. They were last updated on May 20, 2020.
  • Stakeholder Toolkit: USDA encourages producers and agricultural groups to share information with those in their network. This toolkit includes an article, an infographic, and social media posts.
  • CFAP Prepare Now Infographic: This infographic shares what producers can do now to prepare for applying for CFAP.
  • CFAP Introductory Webinar: This webinar hosted by USDA’s Farm Service Agency and Agricultural Marketing Service provides basic information on how producers can prepare for the upcoming signup for CFAP. The transcript for this webinar is available in Spanish.

 

USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program

Beyond direct support to farmers and ranchers, through this program, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service is partnering with national, regional, and local suppliers, whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of restaurants, hotels, and other food service businesses, to purchase up to $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat products. The program will purchase $461 million in fresh fruits and vegetables, $317 million in a variety of dairy products, $258 million in meat products, and $175 million in a combination box of fresh produce, dairy, or meat products. Suppliers will package these products totaling $1.2 billion into family-sized boxes, then transport them to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need from May 15 through June 30, 2020. AMS may elect to extend the period of performance of the contracts, via option periods, dependent upon program success and available remaining funds, up to $3 billion.

More information is available at www.usda.gov/farmers-to-families.

 

Broader USDA Efforts

In addition to CFAP, USDA has other programs and services available to farmers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Learn more at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

 

Find Your Local Service Center

We are committed to delivering USDA services to America’s farmers and ranchers while taking safety measures in response to COVID-19. While employees continue to staff our Service Centers, they are only available for phone appointments at this time. While access is restricted to the buildings,  our services are still available via phone appointment or online. Learn more at farmers.gov/coronavirus.


USDA Service Centers are locations where you can connect with Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service employees for your business needs. Enter your state and county to find your local service center and agency offices.

Visit the Risk Management Agency website to find a regional or compliance office or to find an insurance agent near you.