USDA is dedicated to reaching a broad set of producers and agricultural businesses through our Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. Visit this page frequently for the latest updates on this critical initiative.
Open Signups: Direct Pandemic Assistance
Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP)
The Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP) provides pandemic assistance to cover eligible certification and education expenses for agricultural producers who are certified organic or transitioning to organic. Applications for the 2022 signup for OTECP and the Organic Certification Cost Share Program are both due October 31, 2022. Additional information can be found at farmers.gov/otecp.
CAWA provides $50 million to assist eligible apparel manufacturers of worsted wool suits, sport coats, pants, or Pima cotton dress shirts; Pima cotton spinners; and wool fabric manufacturers and wool spinners. USDA's Farm Service Agency national office will administer the direct payments for CAWA. The program supports eligible entities who experienced a decrease of at least 15 percent in 2020 gross sales or consumption of eligible products compared to the applicant's gross sales in any of the calendar years 2017, 2018, or 2019. Payments to eligible entities will be based on their pre-pandemic market share. Additionally, eligible entities must have filed an affidavit for a payment in any year from 2017 to 2021 for the Pima Agriculture Cotton Trust Fund, or Agriculture Wool Apparel Manufacturers Trust Fund through USDA's Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS).
Applications will be accepted beginning May 16, 2022, through June 17, 2022. Eligible applicants must submit the CCC-917, Cotton and Wool Apparel Program Application. Please refer to the CAWA application instructions. The Notice of Funding Availability provides additional eligibility information.
Ongoing market disruptions have created logistical challenges associated with the availability and flow of containers to transport agricultural commodities, which has prevented or delayed American-grown agricultural commodities from reaching their markets. CCAP currently includes a partnership with the Port of Oakland in California and the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA), which is a marine cargo operating partnership between the Port of Seattle and the Port of Tacoma in Washington State. The Farm Service Agency is providing per-container payments at eligible ports to help cover additional logistics costs and ensure that American-grown commodities can once again move efficiently through supply chains to global markets.
The Agricultural Marketing Service is covering a percentage of the start-up costs of the “pop-up” site in Oakland and Port of Houston. The Port of Houston is not eligible for CCAP payments through the Farm Service Agency.
Applications will be accepted based on the number of eligible shipping containers utilized between March 1, 2022, through December 31, 2022. Eligible applicants must submit the FSA-862, Commodity Container Assistance Program Application. Please refer to the CCAP application instructions. The Notice of Funding Availability provides additional eligibility information.
Refer to our CCAP Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
Program Updates: Pandemic Assistance for Producers Initiative
Since USDA rolled out the Pandemic Assistance initiative in March 2021, the Department has announced assistance to producers and agriculture entities through the following programs:
- The Food Safety Certification for Specialty Crops (FSCSC) program will provide up to $200 million in assistance for specialty crop producers who incur eligible on-farm food safety program expenses to obtain or renew a food safety certification in calendar years 2022 or 2023. USDA's Farm Service Agency will accept FSCSC applications for calendar year 2022 from June 27, 2022, through January 31, 2023. Additional information is available at farmers.gov/fscsc
- The Biofuel Producer Program provided $700 million to help lower costs and support biofuel producers who faced unexpected market losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. USDA will make payments to 195 biofuel production facilities to support the maintenance and viability of a significant market for agricultural producers of products such as corn, soybean or biomass that supply biofuel production. These biofuel producers experienced unexpected market losses on a combined 3.7 billion gallons as a result of COVID–19.
- The Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program (SMHPP) provides pandemic assistance to hog producers who sold hogs through a spot market sale from April 16, 2020, through September 1, 2020. The signup period for SMHPP closed on April 29, 2022. Additional information is available at farmers.gov/smhpp.
- The Pandemic Cover Crop Program (PCCP) provides premium support to producers who insured their crop with most insurance policies and planted a qualifying cover crop during the 2022 and 2021 crop years. Enrollment for the 2022 crop year ended on March 15, 2022. Enrollment for the 2021 crop year, which ended June 15, 2021, provided over $59 million in premium subsidies for 12.2 million acres of cover crops. Additional information is available at farmers.gov/cover-crops.
- The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) supports America’s farmers, ranchers, and agricultural producers whose operations were impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The signup period for CFAP 2 closed on October 12, 2021. Additional information is available at farmers.gov/pandemic-assistance/cfap.
- The Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program (PLIP) provides relief to chicken, turkey, and swine producers who suffered losses during the pandemic due to insufficient access to processing. The signup period for PLIP closed on October 12, 2021. Additional information is available at farmers.gov/plip.
- The Pandemic Assistance for Timber Harvesters and Haulers program (PATHH) provides financial relief to timber harvesting and timber hauling businesses that experienced losses in 2020 due to COVID-19. The signup period for PATHH closed on October 15, 2021. Additional information is available at farmers.gov/pathh.
- The Dairy Donation Program (DDP) allocates $400 million to facilitate dairy product donations and reduce food waste. Under this new program, eligible dairy organizations partner with non-profit feeding organizations that distribute food to individuals and families. Those partnerships may apply for and receive reimbursements to cover some expenses related to eligible dairy product donations. Visit ams.usda.gov/services/ddp for additional information, including how to apply through USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.
- USDA opened signup for the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program and expanded the program to allow dairy producers to better protect their operations by enrolling supplemental production through Supplemental DMC. Supplemental DMC will provide $580 million to better help small- and mid-sized dairy operations that have increased production over the years but were not able to enroll the additional production. The signup period for DMC and Supplemental DMC runs from December 13, 2021 to February 18, 2022. This is part of a broader package to help the dairy industry respond to the pandemic and other challenges.
- Through the Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program (PMVAP), USDA will provide more than $350 million in pandemic assistance payments to dairy farmers who received a lower value due to market abnormalities caused by the pandemic and ensuing Federal policies. Payments will reimburse qualified dairy farmers for 80% of the revenue difference per month based on an annual production of up to 5 million pounds of milk marketed and on fluid milk sales from July through December 2020. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service will contact eligible handlers and cooperatives to notify them of the opportunity to participate in the program. Visit ams.usda.gov/services/pandemic-market-volatility-assistance-program to learn more.
- The Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grant Program and the Seafood Processors Pandemic Response and Safety (Seafood PRS) Block Grant Program will provide approximately $700 million in assistance to small scale specialty crop producers and processors, shellfish, aquaculture and other select producers, meat and other processors, distributors, farmers markets, seafood facilities, and processing vessels impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service is currently reviewing all PRS applications for program eligibility and compliance. Seafood PRS block grants have been awarded.
- The Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) Program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and marketing of new products. USDA made an additional $35 million available through the program this year to support agricultural producers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
- The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funds innovative projects designed to support the expanding specialty crop food sector and explore new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products. USDA announced $169.9 million total for the program, with funding awarded as part of pandemic assistance supporting organizations to assist farmworkers with PPE and vaccination costs, projects to fund farmers, food businesses, and other relevant entities to respond to risks and supply chain disruption.
- The Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) increases the purchase of fruits and vegetables by low-income consumers. USDA announced $75 million to address critical food and nutrition security needs of low-income communities, enhance the resilience of food and healthcare systems impacted by the pandemic, and maximize funds reaching participants in communities in need.
- The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) offers education, training, outreach and mentoring programs to enhance the sustainability of the next generation of farmers. USDA announced $37.5 million to support this program.
- Through Payments to Domestic Users of Cotton, USDA announced approximately $80 million in additional payments to domestic users of upland and extra-long staple cotton to support textile mills impacted by the pandemic.
- The Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP) helps maximize opportunities for economic growth and ingenuity in local and regional food systems, generate new income sources for small, beginning, veteran, and socially disadvantaged farmers, and create new market opportunities for value-added and niche products. USDA announced $92.2 million in competitive grant funding through this program.
In the News
- June 17, 2022: USDA Announces Assistance for On-Farm Food Safety Expenses for Specialty Crop Growers
- June 16, 2022: USDA Announces Partnership with the Port of Houston and Expansion of Partnership with Northwest Seaport Alliance to Ease Port Congestion and Restore Disrupted Shipping Services to U.S. Grown Agricultural Commodities
- June 3, 2022: USDA Has Provided $700 Million to Restore Sustainable Fuel Markets Hit by Pandemic
- May 25, 2022: USDA Announces Signup for the Commodity Container Assistance Program
- May 16, 2022: USDA Accepting Applications to Help Cover Costs of Organic, Transitioning Producers
- May 5, 2022: USDA to Provide $50 Million in Support to U.S. Cotton and Wool Apparel Manufacturers Impacted by the Pandemic
- March 17, 2022: USDA Updates Eligibility for Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program
- February 24, 2022: USDA Extends Deadline for Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program
- February 14, 2022: USDA Announces $50 Million in Grants Awarded to States to Support the Seafood Industry
- February 10, 2022: Producers with Crop Insurance to Receive Premium Benefit for Cover Crops
- December 21, 2021: Deadline Extended to Apply for Pandemic Support for Certified Organic and Transitioning Operations
- December 13, 2021: USDA Provides Additional Pandemic Assistance to Hog Producers
- December 8, 2021: USDA Opens 2022 Signup for Dairy Margin Coverage, Expands Program for Supplemental Production
- December 2, 2021: USDA Issues Final Pandemic Payments for Timber Harvesters and Haulers
- November 18, 2021: USDA Issuing Approximately $270 Million in Pandemic Assistance to Poultry, Livestock Contract Producers
- November 4, 2021: USDA Builds Pandemic Support for Certified Organic and Transitioning Operations
- October 7, 2021: USDA Invests $4.7 Million to Provide Outreach and Technical Assistance to Historically Underserved Farmers and Ranchers
- October 6, 2021: Application Period Opens for Pandemic Response and Safety Grant Program to Provide Relief to Small Producers, Processors, Distributors and Farmers Markets Impacted by COVID-19
- September 16, 2021: USDA Extends Deadline to Apply for Pandemic Assistance to Livestock Producers with Animal Losses
- September 9, 2021: USDA Invests $700 million to Provide Relief to Small Producers, Processors, Distributors, Farmers Markets and Seafood Processing Vessels and Processors Impacted by COVID-19
- August 25, 2021: USDA Establishes Dairy Donation Program, Part of Continuing USDA Pandemic Assistance
- August 24, 2021: USDA Updates Pandemic Assistance for Livestock, Poultry Contract Producers and Specialty Crop Growers
- August 19, 2021: USDA Announces Improvements to the Dairy Safety Net and New Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program
- July 20, 2021: USDA Announces Pandemic Assistance for Timber Harvesters and Haulers
- July 13, 2021: USDA to Provide Pandemic Assistance to Livestock Producers for Animal Losses
- June 15, 2021: USDA Announces Additional Aid to Ag Producers and Businesses in Pandemic Assistance for Producers Initiative
- June 1, 2021: Producers with Crop Insurance to Receive Premium Benefit for Cover Crops
- May 5, 2021: USDA Invests $92.2 Million in Grants for Local, Regional Food Producers Affected by the Pandemic
- April 13, 2021: USDA Invests More Than $330 Million in Specialty Crops Grants, Incentives to Purchase Fruits and Vegetables, and Help for Cotton Producers
- April 5, 2021: USDA Announces Funding Available to Organizations to Assist Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers under Pandemic Assistance for Producers Initiative
- March 24, 2021: After Identifying Gaps in Previous Aid, USDA Announces ‘Pandemic Assistance for Producers’ to Distribute Resources More Equitably