The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) was designed to provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to deliver relief to America’s farmers and ranchers who have been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. While the CFAP assistance doesn’t replace all of financial losses, it does provide some much-needed relief and cash flow that is so vital to not only the producers but the businesses that provide inputs.
As of August 31, over 12,000 Alabama producers have applications for assistance. These producers have seen almost $89 million in payments from the CFAP. Not all commodities were originally included in this program. Visit the USDA website to see the current amount of payments made to producers.
Eligibility for CFAP
The program specifically targets producers of agricultural products who suffered a five percent or greater price decline or losses due to market supply chain disruptions as a result of COVID-19.
Eligible commodities are divided into the following eight groups:
- non-specialty crops
- specialty crops
- nursery crops and cut flowers
Specialty crops include
- Fruits – apples, avocados, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, carambola, coconut, dates, donqua, dragonfruit, grapefruit, guava, kiwifruit, kumquat, lemons, mamey sapote, nectarines, oranges, papaya, passion fruit, peaches, pears, pineapples, plantains, pomegranates, pumpkins, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries, tangelos, tangerines, tomatoes, watermelons
- Vegetables – alfalfa sprouts, artichokes, arugula, asparagus, bean sprouts, beets, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, sweet corn, cucumbers, daikon, dandelion greens, eggplant, endive, escarole, garlic, iceberg lettuce, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, romaine lettuce, okra, dry onions, green onions, peas, peppers, parsnips, potatoes, radicchio, rhubarb, rutabagas, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, swiss chard, taro, watercress, yuca
- Nuts – almonds, filberts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts
- Other – aloe leaves, anise, basil, batatas, beans, cherimoya, chervil, chives, cilantro/coriander, citron, curry leaves, dill, frisee, horseradish, maple sap, marjoram, mesculin mix, mushrooms, oregano, parsley, peppermint, sage, savory, shallots, spearmint, sorrel, thyme, turmeric, yautia
Information will be collected to determine if other agricultural products may qualify for CFAP payment. While there may be additional clarifications made, the current information provides a starting point for applying for assistance. More information can be found at farmers.gov/cfap.
USDA began accepting applications May 26 and continue through September 11. FSA offices will be handling an increased volume of applications and phone calls, so your patience will be appreciated. USDA Service Centers are open by scheduling an appointment by phone only. Applications will be submitted by email, scanning, or faxing. Contact the local FSA office before sending applications. There are several preparations producers can make to make this process easier. Records of recent farm sales and inventories of agricultural products will be needed.
Information required includes, but is not limited to:
- name and address
- personal information including Tax ID number
- farm operating structure
- adjusted gross income
- direct deposit information
A list of necessary forms is available by visiting farmers.gov/cfap.
Once sign up begins, an Adobe PDF application that can be printed or downloaded will be available for use. A CFAP payment calculator as an Excel spreadsheet will also be available to make payment calculations.