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Chickens on a poultry farm

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced details of the revised Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) August 24. The program now offers help for contract producers of eligible livestock and poultry. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has set a deadline of October 12 for new applications or modifications to existing CFAP 2 applications.

Assistance for Contract Producers

Up to $1 billion is now available for payments to contract growers to help cover losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic that were incurred from January 1, 2020 through December 27, 2020. The updated program now includes broilers, pullets, eligible breeding stock, and hatching or table eggs produced under contract. Growers do not have to own the birds in order to be eligible for the expanded program payments.

Payment Calculations

Contract growers qualify for payments based on their eligible revenue from January 1, 2020 through December 27, 2020 compared to the same period from either 2018 or 2019. The choice of the comparison periods is a producer option. The program is set to pay 80 percent of the difference between the comparison year and 2020. However, payments may be prorated if total program payments exceed the available funding.

Program Flexibility

The program will offer flexibility to growers who increased their operation size during 2020 or did not have a full year of production in either 2018 or 2019 for accurate comparison. Assistance is also available to new contract producers who began their farming operation in 2020. The USDA will pay such new growers based on an annual average to be established by area as applications are evaluated.

How to Apply for Assistance

Growers need to contact their local FSA office to apply before the October 12 deadline. Growers will be required to provide a copy of their production contract for both 2020 and the comparison year 2018 or 2019. Income documentation will need to be presented with the application. IRS 1099 income documents and flock settlement sheets for the compared years will be needed, as well as documentation for any additional revenue received for the compared years.

This is a self-reporting application program but growers will be subject to further scrutiny by the FSA office, including possible USDA audit of their records.

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