USDA

(June 3, 2020) USDA announced alternative housing resources for season ag laborers and other ag workforce. Read it here.

(June 2, 2020) The CDC published COVID-19 guidance for agricultural workers and employers here.

(June 2, 2020) CFAP Handbook: Chapter 141, Pages 5-31 through 5-36, contains information on the eligibility of marketing contracts including examples. The remainder of the handbook provides additional information for hybrid seed and popcorn, wool, silage, etc. Read it here.

(June 1, 2020) USDA outlines CFAP eligibility for certain market contracts and only applies to non-specialty crops. Read the fact sheet here.

(May 29, 2020) American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) reviews the CFAP Payment Formula for non-specialty crops here.

(May 29, 2020) Do you raise nursery or aquaculture products or cut flowers? Do you grow something else that wasn’t included in the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)? USDA is looking for data on agricultural commodities that were left off the financial assistance program. Read more here.

(May 27, 2020) Illinois USDA Farm Service Agency leaders Bill Graff and Vicki Donaldson answer questions about CFAP with IFB members. Listen in here.

(May 26, 2020) Farmers can now apply for Financial Assistance through USDA CFAP. You can find applications and other eligibility forms, as well as a payment calculator, at www.farmers.gov/CFAP.

(May 26, 2020) The University of Illinois FarmDoc team has released an overview and payment calculation examples for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) here.

(May 26, 2020) The University of Illinois FarmDoc team has released an analysis of Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) payments pre and post-COVID 19.

(May 21, 2020) The USDA has announced $1 Billion in loan guarantees for rural businesses and ag producers that are not eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans. Read more about the USDA Business & Industry CARES Act Program here.


Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) 

Getting Ready to Apply: APPLICATIONS can be accepted starting May 26th.  

CFAP will provide $16 billion in direct support to farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Overview 

CFAP provides vital financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a five-percent-or-greater price decline due to COVID-19 and face additional significant marketing costs as a result of lower demand, surplus production, and disruptions to shipping patterns and the orderly marketing of commodities. 

Farmers and ranchers will receive direct support, drawn from two possible funding sources. 

  • The first source of funding is $9.5 billion in appropriated funding provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stability (CARES) Act to compensate farmers for losses due to price declines that occurred between mid-January 2020, and mid-April 2020 and provides support for specialty crops for product that had been shipped from the farm between the same time period but subsequently spoiled due to loss of marketing channels.  

  • The second funding source uses the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act to compensate producers for $6.5 billion in losses due to on-going market disruptions.  

Participation in the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loan program does not affect eligibility for the CFAP or any other USDA program or loan. 

Information for this program can be found on www.farmers.gov/CFAP.  

(May 20, 2020) USDA has provided an updated frequently asked questions.

(May 20, 2020) USDA has provided a preview of the payment calculator.

(May 20, 2020) American Farm Bureau Federation offers their analysis of CFAP here.

Eligibility, Payment Limits, and Payment Structure 

There is a payment limitation of $250,000 per person or entity for all commodities combined. Applicants who are corporations, limited liability companies or limited partnerships may qualify for additional payment limits where members actively provide personal labor or personal management for the farming operation. Producers will also 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 must also be in compliance with Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation provisions. 

To ensure the availability of funding throughout the application period, producers will receive 80 percent of their maximum total payment upon approval of the application. The remaining portion of the payment, not to exceed the payment limit, will be paid at a later date as funds remain available. 

Eligible Crops and links to details 

Non-specialty crops eligible for CFAP payments include malting barley, canola, corn, upland cotton, millet, oats, soybeans, sorghum, sunflowers, durum wheat, and hard red spring wheat. Producers will be paid based on inventory subject to price risk held as of January 15, 2020. A payment will be made based 50 percent of a producer’s 2019 total production or the 2019 inventory as of January 15, 2020, whichever is smaller, multiplied by the commodity’s applicable payment rates.  

Wool is also eligible. Visit www.farmers.gov/cfap and click on “Wool” for details. 

Livestock eligible for CFAP include cattle, lambs, yearlings and hogs. The total payment will be calculated using the sum of the producer’s number of livestock sold between January 15 and April 15, 2020, multiplied by the payment rates per head, and the highest inventory number of livestock between April 16 and May 14, 2020, multiplied by the payment rate per head. 

For dairy, the total payment will be calculated based on a producer’s certification of milk production for the first quarter of calendar year 2020 multiplied by a national price decline during the same quarter. The second part of the payment is based a national adjustment to each producer’s production in the first quarter. 

For eligible specialty crops, the total payment will be based on the volume of production sold between January 15 and April 15, 2020; the volume of production shipped, but unpaid; and the number of acres for which harvested production did not leave the farm or mature product destroyed or not harvested during that same time period, and which have not and will not be sold. Specialty crops include, but are not limited to, almonds, beans, broccoli, sweet corn, lemons, iceberg lettuce, spinach, squash, strawberries and tomatoes. A full list of eligible crops can be found on farmers.gov/cfap. Additional crops may be deemed eligible at a later date. 

Forms and paperwork  

If you have not worked with the FSA on payment programs before, it is highly recommended that you start collecting the necessary documents now.  

Your local FSA staff will work with you to apply for the program, and will ask for Contact informationTax Identification NumberFarming operating structureAdjusted Gross Income to ensure eligibility, and Direct deposit to enable payment processing. 

The following forms will be needed for CFAP: 

  • CCC-901 (Also Available in Spanish) – Identifies members of a farm or ranch that is a legal entity. Member Information will be completed by legal entities and joint operations to collect the following: 

    • member names, addresses, and Tax Identification Numbers 

    • citizenship status 

  • CCC-941 (Also Available in Spanish) – Reports your 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 (Also Available in Spanish) – Ensures compliance with highly erodible land conservation and wetland conservation. 

  • AD-2047 – Provides basic customer contact information. 

  • SF-3881 – Collects your banking information to allow USDA to make payments to you via direct deposit 

FSA has streamlined the signup process to not require an acreage report at the time of application and a USDA farm number may not be immediately needed. 

Applications will be accepted through August 28, 2020. 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

(May 8, 2020) The USDA has approved $1.2 billion in contracts to support American producers and communities in need through the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program. You can read their announcement here.

(May 4, 2020) USDA has announced $100 million in competitive grants to expand the availability and sale of renewable fuelsThe Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) funds can assist transportation fueling and biodiesel distribution facilities with converting to higher ethanol and biodiesel blends by sharing the costs related to and/or offering sales incentives for the installation of fuel pumps, related equipment, and infrastructure.  

(May 4, 2020) USDA has announced $470 million in Section 32 food purchases to occur in the third quarter of fiscal year 2020, in addition to previously announced purchases, which will enable USDA to purchase surplus food for distribution to communities nationwide. The plan from the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) can be found here.  

(April 17, 2020) USDA has announced the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).  

CFAP will use the funding and authorities provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), and other USDA existing authorities. The program includes two major elements to achieve these goals.  

  • 1) Direct Support to Farmers and Ranchers: The program will provide $16 billion in direct support based on actual losses for agricultural producers where prices and market supply chains have been impacted and will assist producers with additional adjustment and marketing costs resulting from lost demand and short-term oversupply for the 2020 marketing year caused by COVID-19.   

    • The bulk of the money - $9.6 billion is designated for livestock producers. The program also included $3.9 billion for row crop producers, $2.1 billion for specialty crop producers, and $500 million for other crops. 

    • Producers will receive a single payment determined using two calculations: Price losses that occurred January 1-April 15, 2020. Producers will be compensated for 85% of price loss during that period. Second part of the payment will be expected losses from April 15 through the next two quarters and will cover 30% of expected losses. 

    • The payment limit is $125,000 per commodity with an overall limit of $250,000 per individual or entity.  

    • USDA Secretary Perdue said USDA will begin a rule-making process and farmers could receive checks by early June. 

  • 2) USDA Purchase and Distribution: USDA will partner with regional and local distributors, whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of many restaurants, hotels, and other food service entities, to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat. We will begin with the procurement of an estimated $100 million per month in fresh fruits and vegetables, $100 million per month in a variety of dairy products, and $100 million per month in meat products. The distributors and wholesalers will then provide a pre-approved box of fresh produce, dairy, and meat products to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need.  

On top of these targeted programs USDA will utilize other available funding sources to purchase and distribute food to those in need.  

  • USDA has up to an additional $873.3 million available in Section 32 funding to purchase a variety of agricultural products for distribution to food banks. The use of these funds will be determined by industry requests, USDA agricultural market analysis, and food bank needs.   

  • The FFCRA and CARES Act provided an at least $850 million for food bank administrative costs and USDA food purchases, of which a minimum of $600 million will be designated for food purchases. The use of these funds will be determined by food bank need and product availability. 

(April 9, 2020) USDA announces Loan Maturity for Marketing Assistance Loans – Now extended to 12 months

Agricultural producers now have more time to repay Marketing Assistance Loans (MAL) as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s implementation of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020. The loans now mature at 12 months rather than nine, and this flexibility is available for most commodities.

The maturity extension for current, active loans will be automatically extended an additional 3 months. Loans that matured March 31 have already been automatically extended by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). Producers who prefer a nine-month loan will need to contact their local FSA county office. Loans requested after September 30, 2020, will have a term of nine months.

USDA Service Center Hours  

Most service centers are open, but by phone appointment only. If you are unable to connect with your service center by phone, you may contact a neighboring services center to make an appointment. For continuing updates from USDA and to find a service center, visit www.farmers.gov/coronavirus. 

(March 26, 2020) Farm Service Agency 

FSA Services are available by phone appointment only.

FSA staff are available to continue helping agricultural producers with program signups, loan servicing and other important actions. Additionally, FSA is relaxing the loan-making process and adding flexibilities for servicing direct and guaranteed loans to provide credit to producers in need. This includes:  

Relaxing the farm loan-making process by 

  • Extending the deadline for applicants to complete farm loan applications,  
  • Preparing direct loans documents, even if FSA is unable to complete lien and record searches because of closed government buildings,  
  • Closing loans if the required lien position on the primary security is perfected, even for loans that require additional security and those lien searches, filings and recordings cannot be obtained because of closed government buildings.  

Servicing Direct Loans by:

  • Extending deadlines for producers to respond to loan servicing actions,  
  • Temporarily suspending loan accelerations, non-judicial foreclosures, and referring foreclosures to the Department of Justice.  

Servicing Guaranteed Loans by:

  • Allowing guarantee lenders to self-certify, providing their borrowers with subsequent-year operating loan advances on lines of credit and emergency advance son lines of credit,
  • Allowing FSA to consider guaranteed lender requests for temporary payment deferral consideration in certain situations, and temporary forbearance consideration for borrowers on loan liquidation and foreclosure actions. 

FSA will accept forms and applications by fax or electronic signature. If you have an eAuth account you can complete forms online on the farmers.gov portal.  

  • You can find details on these announcementshere. 

(March 27, 2020) Risk Management Agency 

USDA Adds Flexibilities for Crop Insurance to Support America’s Farmers and Ranchers. 

USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) is authorizing additional flexibilities due to coronavirus while continuing to support producers, working through Approved Insurance Providers (AIPs) to deliver services, including processing policies, claims and agreements. These flexibilities include:  

  • Enabling producers to send notifications and reports electronically,  
  • Extending the date for production reports, and  
  • Providing additional time and deferring interest on premium and other payments.  

You can find details on these announcementshere. 

National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)

NASS statistical reports remain on schedule amid the COVID-19 pandemic. NASS also continues to collect data for all upcoming reports, asking farmers and ranchers to complete their surveys online, if they don’t already respond that way. To protect the health and safety of producers, partners, and employees, NASS has suspended in-person data collection at this time.

 

icon_