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
Cotton and Wool Apparel (CAWA) Program
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.
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 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 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. The signup for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 closed on February 4, 2022. Additional information is available at farmers.gov/otecp.
- 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
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 10, 2022: Producers with Crop Insurance to Receive Premium Benefit for Cover Crops
December 13, 2021: USDA Provides Additional Pandemic Assistance to Hog Producers
December 2, 2021: USDA Issues Final Pandemic Payments for Timber Harvesters and Haulers