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CFAP 2 available: USDA announces additional assistance for producers impacted by COVID-19

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On Sept. 18, President Donald Trump and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced an additional $14 billion has been made available for agricultural producers who are continuing to face market disruptions and other financial woes due to COVID-19 through the second round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2). 

“America’s agriculture communities are resilient, but still face many challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Perdue. “President Trump is once again demonstrating his commitment to ensure America’s farmers and ranchers remain in business to produce the food, fuel and fiber America needs to thrive.”

“We listened to feedback received from farmers, ranchers and agricultural organizations about the impact of the pandemic on our nation’s farms and ranches, and we developed a program to better meet the needs of those impacted,” Perdue continued. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has made several improvements to CFAP 2 based on public feedback following the first round of funding. 

CFAP 2 will support row crops, specialty crops, livestock, dairy, aquaculture and several other commodities, and payments will be made for three categories of commodities – price trigger commodities, flat-rate crops and sales commodities. 

“The initial CFAP payments served as an important stopgap in the immediate wake of the coronavirus,” states Ethan Lane, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s (NCBA) vice president of government affairs. “Unfortunately, many in our industry are still reeling from abnormal marketing decisions they were forced to make in the spring, unprecedented supply chain disruptions and an overall tumultuous farm economy.”

“We are grateful to President Trump, Secretary Sonny Perdue and the individuals in this administration who are tirelessly working to deliver additional aid to our nation’s ranchers and farmers. We will continue to work with Congress until adequate relief can be provided to put cattle producers on a firm road to recovery,” Lane adds.

Price trigger commodities

According to the USDA, price trigger commodities are major commodities that meet a minimum five percent decline over a specified period of time. 

Eligible price trigger crops include barley, corn, sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers, upland cotton and all classes of wheat.

“Price trigger commodity payments will be based on 2020 planted acres, excluding prevented planting and experimental acres,” explains USDA. 

“Payments will be the greater of the eligible acres multiplied by a payment rate of $15 per acre or the eligible acres multiplied by a nationwide crop marketing percentage, multiplied by a crop-specific payment rate and then multiplied by the producer’s weighted 2020 Actual Production History (APH) approved yield,” USDA continues.

USDA notes if APH is not available, 85 percent of the 2019 Agriculture Risk Coverage-County Option (ARC-CO) benchmark yield for the particular crop will be used. 

According to USDA, payments for broilers and eggs will be based on 75 percent of the producer’s 2019 production, while dairy payments will be based on actual milk production from April 1 to Aug. 31, 2020. Milk production between Sept. 1 through Dec. 31, 2020 will be estimated by the Farm Service Agency (FSA).

Additionally, eligible livestock payments will be based on the maximum owned inventory of eligible livestock, excluding breeding stock, on a date selected by the producer between April 16 and Aug. 31, 2020. 

“CFAP 2 payments are gong to be structured in almost the exact same way as CFAP 1 part two inventory payments,” explains Danielle Beck during a Beltway Beef podcast published on Sept. 18. “Cattle producers can calculate their payment by taking the highest owned inventory by a selected date of their choice, between April 16 through Aug. 31, by a rate of $55 per head.”

“There are some nuances with the program. Breeding stock cows, cull cows and bulls are not eligible for CFAP 2, but almost all other marketable cattle are eligible. This includes 2020 born calves and replacements as well as stock intended for breeding, such as females that have not yet produced offspring and males that have not started breeding females,” Beck continues. 

Flat-rate crops

According to USDA, flat-rate crops are those that do not meet the five percent price decline trigger or those that do not have data available to calculate a price change. Therefore, payments for flat-rate crops will be calculated based on eligible 2020 acres, multiplied by $15 per acre. 

Flat-rate crops include alfalfa, extra long staple cotton, oats, peanuts, rice, hemp, millet, mustard, safflower, sesame, triticale and rapeseed, among several others.

Sales commodities

Sales commodities include specialty crops, aquaculture, nursery crops and floriculture as well as other commodities not included in the price trigger and flat-rate categories, including tobacco, goat milk, mink, mohair, wool and other livestock, excluding breeding stock. 

USDA notes payment calculations will be sales-based, so producers are paid based on five payment gradations associated with 2019 sales. 

Producer eligibility

According to USDA, CFAP 2 has a payment limitation of $250,000 per person across all commodities. If members of corporations, limited liability companies and limited partnerships provide their own personal labor or management, they may qualify for additional payment limits. 

In order to apply, producers will have to certify they meet the Adjusted Gross Income limitation of $900,000, unless at least 75 percent or more of their income is derived from farming, ranching or forestry-related activities. Producers also must be in compliance with Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation provisions.

Producers interested in receiving financial assistance through CFAP 2 can submit their applications through Dec. 11, 2020. 

Application forms and additional information can be found at farmers.gov/cfap. One-on-one support for producers who need assistance with the CFAP 2 application process is available at 877-508-8364.

Hannah Bugas is the managing editor for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to roundup@wylr.net.

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