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- (September 18, 2020) USDA announces additional assistance to farmers impacted by the coronavirus via a CFAP 2 Program which includes $14 billion for agriculture producers who face market disruptions and associated costs. Sign up begins September 21 and runs through December 11, 2020. CFAP 2 payments will be made for three categories of commodities – Price Trigger Commodities, Flat-rate Crops, and Sales Commodities. A complete list of eligible commodities, payment rates and calculations can be found at www.farmers.gov/cfap.
- (September 17, 2020) USDA Announces Contracts for Round 3 of the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, after distributing more than 90 million food boxes to families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- (August 25, 2020) USDA announces Round 3 – an additional $1 billion – for the Farmers to Families Food Box Program.
- (August 20, 2020) U.S. EPA Enforcement Discretion for COVID Ends August 31, 2020. In March of this year, the US EPA issued a memorandum on COVID-19 Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program advising the termination date of August 31, 2020 for regulation enforcement discretion. An "addendum on termination" (amending the March memo) was issued on June 29. The agency has determined they will keep the termination date outlined in the June 29 memo. This means that the EPA will not base any exercise of enforcement discretion on the temporary policy for any noncompliance that occurs after August 31, 2020. Read the memo here.
- (August 13, 2020) USDA to host CFAP producer webinar August 19 to discuss newly eligible specialty crops, nursery crops, cut flowers and more. Register here.
- (August 11, 2020) The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has extended the hours of service waiver originally set to expire August 14. Those waivers can now be used until September 14, 2020.
- (August 11, 2020) USDA has extended the deadline to apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) until September 11, 2020. Producers, especially those who have not worked with FSA previously, are recommended to call 877-508-8364 to begin the application process. An FSA staff member can help producers start their application during the phone call.
- To ensure availability of funding, producers with approved applications initially received 80 percent of their payments. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) will automatically issue the remaining 20 percent of the calculated payment to eligible producers. Going forward, producers who apply for CFAP will receive 100 percent of their total payment, not to exceed the payment limit, when their applications are approved.
- (August 11, 2020) USDA has announced that new commodities are eligible for CFAP, including new specialty crops, non-specialty crops and livestock, aquaculture products, and nursery crops and flowers. Read more about newly eligible commodities at www.farmers.gov/CFAP.
- (August 5, 2020) USDA has extended flexibilities and relief for farmers, ranchers, and insurance providers due to COVID-19. USDA has authorized Approved Insurance Providers (AIPs) to provide policyholders additional time to pay premium and administrative fees and to waive accrual of interest to the earlier of 60 days after their scheduled payment due date or the termination date on policies with premium billing dates between August 1, 2020, and September 30, 2020. In addition, USDA is authorizing AIPs to provide up to an additional 60 days for policyholders to make payment and waive additional interest for Written Payment Agreements due between August 1, 2020, and September 30, 2020. Read more at www.farmers.gov/coronavirus.
- (July 9, 2020) USDA announces additional commodities are eligible for CFAP, expands eligibility for certain crops, and corrects payment rates for others. Additional details can be found in the Federal Register in the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) and Final Rule Correction and at www.farmers.gov/cfap.
- (June 24, 2020) The Small Business Administration partnered with the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation to offer n webinar with an overview of PPP for borrowers.
- (June 24, 2020) The Small Business Administration has released their interim final rule for the Paycheck Protection Program as well as updated forgiveness forms. Find them on our federal stimulus page.
- (June 5, 2020) President Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020, which includes corrections that AFBF requested for the program. Read more on our federal stimulus page.
- (June 5, 2020) President Trump signed an Executive Order instructing agencies and executive departments to use emergency authorities to speed infrastructure investments. Read more on our transportation page.
- (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.
- Farmers can call 1-877-508-8364 to speak directly to a USDA employee in advance of engaging their local FSA office with questions.
- CFAP Non-Specialty Crop Fact Sheet
- CFAP Livestock Fact Sheet
- CFAP Wool Fact Sheet
- CFAP Dairy Fact Sheet
- CFAP Specialty Crops Fact Sheet
- (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.
- (May 14, 2020) The Small Business Administration has released updated slides for farmers on the Paycheck Protection Program and updated slides for farmers on the Economic Injury Disaster Program. They’ve also released a new FAQ on the Paycheck Protection Program. Find more on those programs on our Federal Stimulus page.
- (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 7, 2020) The SBA released additional details for farmers and agricultural businesses interested in applying to their economic loan programs. Watch the presentation here. Find more on these programs on our Federal Stimulus page.
- (May 6, 2020) USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue has issued his expectations for Governors regarding Meat Packing and Processing Facilities. Read his letter to Stakeholders here.
- (May 4, 2020) Farmers can now apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program through the Small Business Administration. Apply here or find more details on our federal stimulus page.
- (May 4, 2020) USDA has announced $100 million in competitive grants to expand the availability and sale of renewable fuels.
- (May 4, 2020) USDA has announced $470 million in Section 32 food purchases to occur in the third quarter of fiscal year 2020. Read about this additional support on our USDA page.
- (May 1, 2020) USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has announced the availability of EQIP funding to assist producers facing mortality management issues. NRCS offices are ready to receive producer phone calls. Read more on our livestock page.
- (May 1, 2020) Illinois farmers may sign up for WHIP+ Quality Loss Payments by contacting their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office and setting up an appointment. All counties are eligible for losses caused by excessive moisture due to a USDA disaster declaration last year. Applications are available here.
- (April 30, 2020) The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act requires entity recipients of federal financial assistance to have a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and to maintain current registration in the System for Award Management (SAM) database.
- (April 28, 2020) President Trump announced an Executive Order invoking the Defense Production Act with Respect to Food Supply Chain Resources. Read more on our livestock Page.
- (April 28, 2020) OSHA and the CDC announce interim guidance for Meat and Poultry Processing Workers and Employers. Read more on our livestock page.
- (April 23, 2020) Congress has approved an additional $484 billion in coronavirus relief for small businesses as well as funding for hospitals and expanded medical testing. Farmers are eligible to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. Find application details on our federal stimulus page.
- (April 20, 2020) USDA has announced details of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). Read more on our USDA page. You can also read analysis from the American Farm Bureau Federation here. We await official rules on that program.
- Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act: You can learn about Economic Programs as details are released on our federal stimulus page.
- Updated list of “Essential Critical infrastructure Workforce” here.
- H2A Program Flexibilities and Migrant Worker information here.
- USDA has announced flexibilities and a resource guide, which you can read about here.
- (August 6, 2020) Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Specialty Growers Association, and University of Illinois Extension hosted two calls to discuss best practices for your Agritourism or Pick Your Own Operation to operate during COVID-19. You can watch those here and here (same topics covered, just two options).
- (July 20, 2020) Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Specialty Growers Association, and University of Illinois Extension have produced an Agritourism Guides for U-Pick and agritourism businesses during COVID-19. These are recommendations and are subject to change as regulations evolve. Find them on our local foods and specialty crops page.
- (July 9, 2020) The Illinois Secretary of State has announced that driver’s license and license plate expirations have again been extended as a result of the COVID-19 situation. Driver’s licenses or license plates that have expired or are set to expire between March 1st and Sept. 30th of this year, have until Nov. 1st to be renewed. Keep the dates in mind, especially as fall harvest begins, and plan now for completing needed renewals. Illinois Secretary of State’s offices are opening back up for business. You can call and ask about online options for completing renewals and other transactions. If you plan to visit a Secretary of State’s office, the number of customers allowed inside the office may be limited and customers should bring and wear a mask, as none will be provided.
- (July 2, 2020) September 1st is the Harvest Season Permit open date – you must get that permit from the appropriate jurisdiction to haul 10% overweight.
- (June 29, 2020) The Illinois Department of Transportation has discontinued overweight waivers as the state enters recovery stage. All loads must return to normal gross and axle weight limits.
- (May 27, 2020) Illinois Pork Producers Association and Illinois Farm Bureau have partnered to fund a grant for pork producers facing unexpected costs during this difficult time. Find the application here.
- (May 21, 2020) Governor Pritzker has activated the IL National Guard to assist four counties with flood fighting efforts over the coming days. Guardsmen will be tested for COVID-19 and provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
- (May 8, 2020) An emergency rulemaking went into effect to provide regulatory relief for livestock farmers during this difficult time. Read more on our Livestock page.
- (May 5, 2020) Governor J.B. Pritzker has released “Restore Illinois”, a 5-Phase plan to reopen the state. The plan sets guidelines for geographical regions of the state to work through before certain restrictions can be lifted.
- (May 4, 2020) Illinois Farm Bureau has been in steady communications with University of Illinois Extension and 4-H regarding summer programming. As conditions change, and as subsequent decision dates occur, we will communicate with you. Read the Extension announcement here.
- (May 4, 2020) If you are a livestock producer considering overstocking as a temporary option, and you are a pork producer, you can contact Mike Borgic (email@example.com) for information on necessary steps. If you raise other livestock, please reach out to Tasha Bunting (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details on necessary steps. Both IDOA and IEPA expect all facilities to continue to operate in a manner that protects the public and the environment. If you are concerned about environmental compliance, please contact Lauren Lurkins (email@example.com).
- (May 1, 2020) The Governor, in collaboration with the United Way of Illinois and the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations has raised more than $30 million for those individuals, families, and communities hardest hit by COVID-19. Find more information at www.ilcovidresponsefund.org.
- (April 30, 2020) Governor J.B. Pritzker has officially extended the state disaster proclamation and associated stay at home order for Illinois. You can find those here:
- (April 23, 2020) The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will reopen select state parks and recreation areas beginning May 1st.
- IFB staff participate in the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council (GRAC) weekly to convey impacts of COVID-19 on our members in the areas of health care, rural development, technology and workforce advancement.
- Illinois State Treasurer details two assistance programs. The Business Invest Program provides impact investment loans. The Annual Ag Loan Program makes loans more affordable for farmers and ag professionals.
- Illinois SNAP recipients will receive maximum benefit amounts.
- Auctions: Land and machinery auctions should be conducted online/via phone. Livestock auctions can occur with appropriate social distancing requirements.
- Illinois’ Governor pushed back state tax filing date to July 15, 2020. Illinois taxpayers are still required to estimate their tax liability and make those payments.
- AG DEEMED ESSENTIAL There is no requirement for a permit or identification as an essential employee for those working in agriculture in Illinois.
Read about the Annual Town Meetings, Property Tax Cycle, and Relaxed Open Meetings Act Requirements on our Local Governance page.
Join the Conversation
For the latest ag news on the impacts of COVID-19, visit FarmWeekNow.com.
Illinois Farm Bureau provides daily coronavirus updates on the RFD Radio Network’s RFD Today program. We want to know how the pandemic is affecting farmers in your area and help answer questions you may have. Submit your question or comment by email or tweet us at @FarmWeekNow. Tune in to your local RFD affiliate or listen to the podcast here.
Educational Materials for Adults
Don’t forget to sign up for the University of Illinois FarmDoc team regular a series of webinars to discuss the impact the coronavirus crisis on Corn Belt agriculture.