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Help on the way

USDA issues first Coronavirus Food Assistance Program payments
6/26/2020

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced on June 4 that the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) has already approved more than $545 million in payments to producers who have applied for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). FSA began taking applications on May 26, and by June 4 had received over 86,000 applications for the relief program. 


“The coronavirus has hurt America’s farmers, ranchers, and producers, and these payments directed by President Trump will help this critical industry weather the current pandemic so they can continue to plant and harvest a safe, nutritious, and affordable crop for the American people,” said Secretary Perdue. “We have tools and resources available to help producers understand the program and enable them to work with FSA staff to complete applications as smoothly and efficiently as possible and get payments into the pockets of our patriotic farmers.”


In the first six days of the application

period, FSA had already made payments to more than 35,000 producers. Out of the gate, the top five states for CFAP payments are Illinois, Kansas, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and South Dakota. USDA has released data on application progress and program payments and will provide further updates each Monday at 2 p.m. ET. The report can be viewed at
farmers.gov/cfap.


 FSA will accept applications through August 28, 2020. Through CFAP, USDA is making available $16 billion in financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a five-percent-or-greater price decline because of COVID-19 and face significant additional marketing costs as a result of lower demand, surplus production, and disruptions to shipping patterns and the orderly marketing of

commodities.


To do this, producers will receive 80 percent of their maximum total payment upon approval of the application. The remaining 20 percent of the payment, not to exceed the payment limit, will be paid at a later date nationwide, as funds remain available.


“Tennessee’s producers have had a challenging spring not only due to coronavirus, but also tornadoes, excessive rains, floods, and depressed prices,” says Mike Mayfield, FSA Tennessee executive director. “Farm Service Agency is glad we can offer help to producers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program as well as our disaster assistance programs and farm loans that are available to farmers.”


New customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer general assistance. This is a recommended first step before a producer engages the team at the FSA county office at their local USDA Service Center.


Producers can download the CFAP application and other eligibility forms from farmers.gov/cfap. Also, on that webpage, producers can find a payment calculator to help identify sales and inventory records needed to apply and calculate potential payments. Producers self-certify their records when applying for CFAP, and that documentation is not submitted with the application. However, applicants may be asked for their documentation to support the certification of eligible commodities, so producers should retain the information used to complete their application.


Those who use the online calculator tool will be able to print a pre-filled CFAP application, sign it, and submit it to the local FSA office either electronically or via hand delivery through an office drop box. Producers should contact their local FSA office to confirm the preferred delivery method for the local office. Team members at FSA county offices will be able to answer detailed questions and help producers apply quickly and efficiently through phone and online tools. 


To find the latest information on CFAP, visit farmers.gov/cfap or call 877-508-8364. 


USDA Service Centers are open for

business by phone appointment only, and fieldwork will continue with appropriate social distancing. While program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with producers by phone and using online tools whenever possible. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with the FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other Service Center agency are required to call their Service Center to schedule a phone appointment. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.


 
 
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