How Were CFAP Funds Used in Wyoming?
By Cole Ehmke
On Sept. 18, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the second round of payments from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) to provide up to $14 billion in disaster relief to U.S. farmers and ranchers. This is on top of the $10 billion dispersed through CFAP 1.
Eligible farmers and ranchers may begin an application for those funds through Dec. 11, 2020. Most growers of Wyoming commodities are eligible for CFAP 2, including beef cattle, wheat, barley, sugarbeets, lambs and wool producers.
There are only a few commodities not eligible for this program including some crops for animal grazing and breeding stock. The list of eligible commodities is more extensive than the first CFAP, which only included commodities experiencing a greater than five percent decline in commodity prices through mid-April 2020.
Now that both CFAPs are concluding, we can look back to see how these payments have flowed to agriculture. One source of data for this is the CFAP 1 Dashboard, found at farmers.gov/cfap1/data, which shows how the $10.47 billion in CFAP 1 payments were made through the 651,537 applications. The largest shares of payments are in the upper Midwest and Central Plains regions.
In Wyoming, there were 3,698 approved CFAP 1 claims, resulting in $77.7 million in payments, almost entirely to cattle, which amounted to $71.11 million or 92 percent. The next highest category was lambs, for which $2.58 million or 3.4 percent was distributed.
To provide more clarity for the Wyoming payments, I requested additional information from the Farm Service Agency under the Freedom of Information Act for information on CFAP 1 distributions.
These data, which were provided on Oct. 16, show most support has gone to Fremont, Goshen, Laramie, Crook and Campbell counties respectively. All of these counties have a substantial amount of beef cattle.
However, the highest average payments were to Carbon, Natrona, Lincoln, Washakie and Hot Springs counties, respectively.
The average payment per application in Carbon County was $14,968, double the state average of $7,509. Fremont County had 1,065 successful applications distributing $8 million, while Platte County, at the lower end of the top five counties, had 720 applications receiving $4.5 million.
Nationally, for CFAP 2 so far, the payments have been similar to CFAP 1 at $11.15 billion on 703,849 approved applications. The majority of payments in CFAP 2 have gone to corn ($3 billion or 27 percent), cattle ($2.4 billion or 21.7 percent), sales commodities ($1.6 billion or 13.9 percent), soybeans ($1.2 billion or 10.4 percent) and milk ($1 billion or 9.5 percent).
The CFAP 2 program considers sales commodities to include specialty crops, aquaculture, nursery crops and floriculture and other commodities not included in the price trigger and flat-rate payment categories.
Currently, as of Nov. 30, there were 3,578 approved CFAP 2 applications in Wyoming, resulting in $60.4 million in payments, again mostly to beef cattle ($42.5 million or 70 percent), but the distribution of the top 10 reflects the broader eligibility.
Once the CFAP 2 program closes, it will be interesting to see where Wyoming producers took advantage of the program. ,
Cole Ehmke is Extension specialist in ag entrepreneurship and personal finance at the University of Wyoming. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.