USDA is dedicated to reaching a broad set of producers and agricultural businesses through our Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. Since January, USDA has provided more than $11 billion of assistance directly to producers and food and agriculture businesses. Visit this page frequently for the latest updates on this critical initiative.
Direct Pandemic Assistance for Producers
Pandemic Cover Crop Program
On June 1, 2021 USDA announced the Pandemic Cover Crop Program (PCCP), which provides a premium benefit to agricultural producers who have coverage under most crop insurance policies if they planted cover crops during this crop year.
To receive the benefit, you must file a Report of Acreage form (FSA-578) by June 15, 2021. Visit farmers.gov/pandemic-assistance/cover-crops for more information on PCCP, including eligible insurance policies and how to file the Report of Acreage form.
Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
On March 24, 2021 USDA announced 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 signup for CFAP 2 for at least 60 days beginning on April 5, 2021. CFAP was also updated to include an increase in CFAP 1 payment rates for cattle, additional CFAP 2 assistance for eligible row-crop producers, and processing of eligible payments for CFAP Additional Assistance.
Visit farmers.gov/pandemic-assistance/cfap for more information on the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, including eligible commodities, producer eligibility, payment limitations and structure, and options to apply.
Additional Pandemic Assistance for Producers
In March, USDA announced the Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative to support a number of new programs or to modify existing efforts, many of which will be implemented in June and July of 2021. These efforts will continue to focus on filling gaps in previous rounds of assistance and helping beginning, socially disadvantaged, and small and medium sized producers that need support most. USDA will provide support for:
- Small family-owned timber harvesting and hauling businesses. USDA will allocate $200 million to support timber harvesters and haulers.
- Biofuel producers. USDA will allocate $700 million to support biofuel producers.
- Dairy farmers and processors. USDA will allocate $400 million to facilitate the timely donation of dairy products to nonprofit organizations that distribute food to persons in need and prevent and minimize food waste through the Dairy Donation Program. Additional pandemic payments targeted to dairy farmers that have demonstrated losses that have not been covered by previous pandemic assistance will be provided, along with approximately $580 million through Supplemental Dairy Margin Coverage for small and medium farms.
- Poultry and livestock producers left out of previous rounds of pandemic assistance. This includes contract growers of poultry, and livestock and poultry producers forced to euthanize animals during the pandemic.
- Organic producers. USDA will allocate up to $20 million in additional organic cost share assistance. These funds will be available to organic producers and producers who are transitioning to organic.
- Specialty crop growers, meat packers and processors, seafood industry workers, and others. USDA will allocate $700 million through Pandemic Response and Safety Grants for PPE and other protective measures.
Since USDA rolled out the Pandemic Assistance initiative in March, the Department has announced approximately $6.8 billion in assistance to producers and agriculture entities through the following programs:
- 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 is still open, with additional information available at farmers.gov/pandemic-assistance/cfap.
- 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.
- The Pandemic Cover Crop Program (PCCP) provides premium support to producers who insured their spring crop with most insurance policies and planted a qualifying cover crop during the 2021 crop year. USDA allocated approximately $20 million to support this program.
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