USDA is committed to delivering financial assistance to farmers, ranchers, and agricultural producers who have been impacted by COVID-19 market disruptions. Through our new initiative – USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers – USDA is dedicating at least $6 billion towards new programs to reach a broad set of producers.
Active Application Periods
USDA's Farm Service Agency is currently accepting proposals for cooperative agreements to establish partnerships with organizations to provide outreach and technical assistance to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. Proposals are due May 5, 2021. View the cooperative agreement opportunity on grants.gov.
The signup period for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 is currently open. Visit farmers.gov/cfap to learn more.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative on March 24, 2021. The initiative will reach a broader set of producers than in previous COVID-19 aid programs. USDA is dedicating at least $6 billion toward the new programs and will also develop rules for new programs that will put a greater emphasis on outreach to small and socially disadvantaged producers, specialty crop and organic producers, timber harvesters, and support for the food supply chain and producers of renewable energy, among others.
Moving forward, USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers will utilize existing programs and services to enhance educational and market opportunities for agricultural producers. Learn more about our ongoing initiatives and future plans below. Visit this page frequently for the latest updates on this critical initiative to support as many producers as possible, as equitably as possible.
Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
USDA is implementing updates to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) for producers of agricultural commodities marketed in 2020 who faced market disruptions due to COVID-19. USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) reopened sign-up for CFAP 2 for at least 60 days beginning on April 5, 2021. CFAP updates also include:
- An increase in CFAP 1 payment rates for cattle. USDA estimates additional payments of more than $1.1 billion to more than 410,000 producers.
- Additional CFAP 2 assistance of $20 per acre for producers of eligible flat-rate or price-trigger crops. USDA estimates additional payments of more than $4.5 billion to more than 560,000 producers.
- Processing of eligible payments for CFAP Additional Assistance. USDA will finalize routine decisions and minor formula adjustments on applications and begin processing payments for certain applications filed for this program.
FSA is committed to improving outreach on programs, including CFAP, and will establish partnerships with organizations with strong connections to socially disadvantaged communities. FSA is now accepting proposals for cooperative agreements from organizations who can assist in this effort. Learn more about these agreements below.
Visit farmers.gov/cfap for more information on the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, including eligible commodities, producer eligibility, payment limitations and structure, and options to apply.
Investing $6 Billion to Expand Help and Assistance to More Producers
USDA will dedicate at least $6 billion to develop new programs or modify existing proposals using remaining discretionary funding from the Consolidated Appropriations Act. These efforts will include assistance for:
- Dairy farmers through the Dairy Donation Program or other means.
- Euthanized livestock and poultry.
- Specialty crops; beginning farmers; and local, urban, and organic farms.
- Costs for organic certification or to continue or add conservation activities.
- Other possible expansion and corrections to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program such as to support dairy or other livestock producers.
- Timber harvesting and hauling.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other protective measures for food and farm workers and specialty crops and seafood processors and distributors.
- Improving the resilience of the food supply chain.
- Developing infrastructure to support donation and distribution of perishable commodities, including food donation and distribution through farm-to-school, restaurants, or other community organizations.
- Reducing food waste.
Adding $500 Million of New Funding to Existing Programs
USDA expects to invest approximately $500 million in expedited assistance through several existing programs and services. Click to learn more about funding and assistance through each of the below.
Cooperative Agreements to Support Socially Disadvantaged Producers
On April 5, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced the availability of $2 million to establish partnerships with organizations to provide outreach and technical assistance to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
These cooperative agreements will support participation in programs offered by FSA, including those that are part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. Outreach and technical assistance cooperative agreements support projects that:
- Increase access and participation of socially disadvantaged applicants in FSA programs and services.
- Improve technical assistance for socially disadvantaged applicants related to county committees focused on urban agriculture as well as FSA programs, including loan, disaster assistance, conservation, and safety-net programs.
Interested organizations must submit proposals by May 5, 2021. FSA will prioritize review of proposals that support outreach on the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2). To ensure effective outreach during the signup period for CFAP 2, these applications will be reviewed immediately following the submission deadline for prioritized approval and project initiation.
This funding opportunity is available to non-profits having a 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service (other than institutions of higher education), Federally recognized Native American tribal governments, Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments), and public and state-controlled institutions of higher education, including 1890 land grant institutions and 1994 tribal land grant colleges and universities.
Awards will range from $20,000 to $99,999 for a duration between six months and one year. Applications focusing primarily on CFAP 2 will be expedited. For other proposals, FSA anticipates announcing or notifying successful and unsuccessful applicants by June 20, 2021 and expects to have Federal awards in place by September 1, 2021.
For more information, view the cooperative agreement opportunity on grants.gov (No. USDA-FSA-MULTI-21-NOFO0001104).
Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
USDA will invest $100 million in additional funding for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.
The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), enhances the competitiveness of fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops. Learn more about this program at ams.usda.gov.
Farmers Opportunities Training and Outreach Program
USDA will invest $75 million in additional funding for the Farmers Opportunities Training and Outreach program.
The Farmers Opportunities Training and Outreach program, administered by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and USDA’s Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE), encourages and assists socially disadvantaged, veteran, and beginning farmers and ranchers in the ownership and operation of farms and ranches. Learn more about this program at nifa.usda.gov.
Local Agricultural Marketing Program
USDA will invest $100 million in additional funding for the Local Agricultural Marketing Program.
The Local Agricultural Marketing Program, administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and Rural Development (RD), supports the development, coordination, and expansion of direct producer-to-consumer marketing, local and regional food markets, and enterprises and value-added agricultural products. Learn more about this program at ams.usda.gov.
Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program
USDA will invest $75 million in additional funding for the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program.
The Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program, administered by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), provides funding opportunities to conduct and evaluate projects providing incentives to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by low-income consumers. Learn more about this program at nifa.usda.gov.
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
USDA will invest $20 million for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to improve and maintain animal disease prevention and response capacity. This will include support for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network.
Learn more about APHIS at aphis.usda.gov/aphis/home/.
Agricultural Research Service
USDA will invest $20 million for the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to work collaboratively with Texas A&M on the critical intersection between responsive agriculture, food production, and human nutrition and health.
Learn more about ARS at ars.usda.gov.
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
USDA will invest $28 million for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to provide grants to state departments of agriculture to expand or sustain existing farm stress assistance programs.
Learn more about NIFA at nifa.usda.gov.
Economic Adjustment Assistance for Textile Mills Program
USDA will invest approximately $80 million in additional payments to domestic users of upland and extra-long staple cotton based on a formula set in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 that USDA plans to deliver through the Economic Adjustment Assistance for Textile Mills program.
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