The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), a new federal relief program funded through the CARES Act stimulus package. This features $16 billion in direct financial support for agriculture producers significantly impacted by COVID-19. In anticipation of the CFAP application period opening, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services are urging Florida producers to begin taking steps to prepare information and documentation required to submit a CFAP application.
“The direct federal assistance provided by CFAP is vital to Florida farmers facing devastating losses from COVID-19,” said Commissioner Fried. “With our seasonal crop farmers suffering hundreds of thousands of dollars in daily losses, this program is an important first step towards getting our farmers the support they need. We are encouraging all Florida farmers, ranchers, and producers to act now and prepare the necessary documents, as these payments may run out quickly.”
Details: The Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program will provide $16 billion in direct support based on losses for agricultural producers where prices and market supply chains were impacted. The USDA will also assist eligible producers facing additional adjustment and marketing costs resulting from lost demand and short-term oversupply for the 2020 marketing year caused by COVID-19. The final details for CFAP’s payment rate details have yet to be determined and included as part of the rulemaking process. Once rulemaking is complete, the application period will be open and subject to the eligibility and payment limit criteria. Covered commodity groups will include livestock (cattle, dairy, and hogs), row crop producers, specialty crop producers including horticulture and nursery growers, as well as other crops that should include inland aquaculture operations not covered by the U.S. Department of Commerce program.
How to Apply: As part of applying for the program, producers will need to contact the Farm Service Agency (FSA) county office to schedule an appointment. To find a producer’s designated FSA office, use the service locator. FSA staff will work with producers to apply for the program. USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only. Once the application period opens, producers can call their FSA county office to schedule an appointment. USDA staff are working with agricultural producers by phone and using email, fax, mail, and online tools like Box to accept applications.
The following forms and information will be needed to complete a CFAP application:
- Contact and personal information including citizenship status and Taxpayer Identification Number.
- CCC-901: Identifies members of a farm or ranch that is a legal entity. Member Information will be completed by legal entities and joint operations.
- CCC-941: Reports average adjusted gross income for programs where income restrictions apply.
- CCC-942: If applicable, this certification reports income from farming, ranching, and forestry for those exceeding the adjusted gross income limitation.
- AD-1026: Ensures a conservation plan is in place before lands with highly erodible soils are farmed, identified wetland areas are protected, and conservation compliance provisions are met.
- AD-2047: Provides basic customer contact information.
- SF-3881: Collects banking information to allow USDA to make payments to you via direct deposit.
CFAP Webinar for Producers: Agriculture producers are encouraged to sign-up for the USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), and Farm Service Agency (FSA) webinar on Thursday, May 14, 2020, at 1 p.m. ET, for producers interested in applying for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). The USDA is hosting the webinar for producers to learn about the general application process and required documentation prior to the official beginning of the application period. Producers who are new to participating in FSA programs are especially encouraged to join. While the application process has not started, producers can start gathering personal information and their farm’s recent sales and inventory.
More information on CFAP can be found at farmers.gov/CFAP. Information on other USDA, SBA, and state assistance programs for agricultural producers may be found at FDACS.gov/KeepFloridaGrowing.