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Specialty Crops and the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

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

The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, or CFAP, provides 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. USDA is accepting applications now through August 28, 2020. Learn more at farmers.gov/cfap.

 

Eligible 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.

The following table lists the specialty crops eligible for payment in each category.

Crop Category 1 Category 2 Category 3
Almonds
Apples  
Artichokes
Asparagus  
Avocados  
Beans
Blueberries  
Broccoli
Cabbage
Cantaloupe  
Carrots
Cauliflower
Celery  
Corn, sweet
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Garlic  
Grapefruit  
Kiwifruit  
Lemons
Lettuce, iceberg
Lettuce, romaine
Mushrooms  
Onions, dry
Onions, green  
Oranges  
Papaya  
Peaches
Pears
Pecans
Peppers, bell type
Peppers, other
Potatoes  
Raspberries  
Rhubarb
Spinach
Squash
Strawberries
Sweet potatoes  
Tangerines  
Taro  
Tomatoes
Walnuts  
Watermelons  

 

CFAP Payments for Specialty Crops

Payments will be available for eligible specialty crops for which a producer has production not subject to an agreed-upon price through a forward contract, agreement, or similar binding document. Payment details for eligible specialty crops are as follows:

  1. Payments for crops that had a five percent-or-greater price decline in sales price between January 15, 2020, and April 15, 2020. Producers must maintain records, such as a bill of sale, documenting the price received for the crop.
  2. Payments for crop shipments that left the farm by April 15, 2020, and spoiled due to no market. Producers must obtain documentation, such as a letter from the buyer, explaining non-payment or other record validating non-payment. This applies to producers who have met contractual obligations in delivering the crop to the buyer, but have not been paid.
  3. Payments for crop shipments that did not leave the farm by April 15, 2020, (for example, were harvested but sitting in crates on the farm), or mature crops that were unharvested by that date (for example, were plowed under) due to lack of buyers, and which have not been and will not be sold.

When requested, producers must provide supporting documentation, which USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service will use to substantiate claims on a case-by-case basis.

The following table lists specialty crop payment rates for CFAP.

Commodity CARES Act Payment Rate for Sales Losses
($/lb)
CARES Act Payment Rate for Product that left the farm but spoiled due to loss of marketing channel ($/lb) CCC Payment Rate ($/lb)
Almonds $0.26 $0.57 $0.11
Apples $0.18 $0.03
Artichokes $0.66 $0.49 $0.10
Asparagus $0.38 $0.07
Avocados $0.14 $0.03
Beans $0.17 $0.16 $0.03
Blueberries $0.62 $0.12
Broccoli $0.62 $0.49 $0.10
Cabbage $0.04 $0.07 $0.01
Cantaloupe $0.10 $0.02
Carrots $0.02* $0.11 $0.02
Cauliflower $0.11 $0.31 $0.06
Celery $0.07 $0.01
Corn, sweet $0.09 $0.13 $0.03
Cucumbers $0.13 $0.15 $0.03
Eggplant $0.07 $0.15 $0.03
Garlic $0.85 $0.17
Grapefruit $0.11 $0.02
Kiwifruit $0.32 $0.06
Lemons $0.08 $0.21 $0.04
Lettuce, iceberg $0.20 $0.15 $0.03
Lettuce, romaine $0.07 $0.12 $0.02
Mushrooms $0.59 $0.11
Onions, dry $0.01 $0.05 $0.01
Onions, green $0.30 $0.06
Oranges $0.14 $0.03
Papaya $0.32 $0.06
Peaches $0.08 $0.32 $0.06
Pears $0.08 $0.18 $0.03
Pecans $0.28 $0.93 $0.18
Peppers, bell type $0.14 $0.22 $0.04
Peppers, other $0.15 $0.22 $0.04
Potatoes $0.04 $0.01
Raspberries $1.45 $0.28
Rhubarb $0.15 $1.03 $0.20
Spinach $0.37 $0.37 $0.07
Squash $0.72 $0.39 $0.08
Strawberries $0.84 $0.72 $0.14
Sweet potatoes $0.18 $0.04
Tangerines $0.22 $0.04
Taro $0.23 $0.05
Tomatoes $0.64 $0.38 $0.07
Walnuts $0.45 $0.09
Watermelons $0.02

* Due to a technical error, the CFAP rule incorrectly stated a $.20 CARES payment rate for sales losses. USDA is making a technical correction to the rule to reflect the correct rate of $.02.

Additional information for specialty crop producers is available in our fact sheet, Coronavirus Food Assistance Program for Specialty Crops. This fact sheet is also available in Spanish.

 

Additional CFAP Information

Farm Service Agency staff at local USDA Service Centers will work with producers to file applications. 

USDA is also establishing a process for the public to identify additional commodities for potential inclusion in the program. Visit farmers.gov/cfap for additional information on the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, other eligible commodities, CFAP eligibility, payment limitations and structure, and how to apply.

 

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 below to find your local service center and agency offices. If this locator does not work in your browser, please visit offices.usda.gov.

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