best 2020

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program | Farmers.gov: Resources for Farmers and Producers

Are you a farmer or rancher whose operation has been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic? The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program provides direct relief to producers who faced price declines and additional marketing costs due to COVID-19.

USDA is accepting applications now through August 28, 2020. Producers should apply through the Farm Service Agency at their local USDA Service Center.

About the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, or CFAP, provides vital financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a five-percent-or-greater price decline or who had losses due to market supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19 and face additional significant market costs. Eligible commodities include:

  • Non-specialty Crops: malting barley, canola, corn, upland cotton, millet, oats, soybeans, sorghum, sunflowers, durum wheat, and hard red spring wheat
  • Wool
  • Livestock: cattle, hogs, and sheep (lambs and yearlings only)
  • Dairy
  • Specialty Crops
    • Fruits: apples, avocados, blueberries, cantaloupe, grapefruit, kiwifruit, lemons, oranges, papaya, peaches, pears, raspberries, strawberries, tangerines, tomatoes, watermelons
    • Vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, dry onions, green onions, peppers, potatoes, rhubarb, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, taro
    • Nuts: almonds, pecans, walnuts
    • Other: beans, mushrooms

To learn more about CFAP, download the final rule and correcting amendments, notice of funding availability and NOFA correction, and cost-benefit analysis.

Program details are specific to agricultural commodities, as outlined below.
 

 

CFAP Payment Report

This report tracks CFAP payments and applications by state, and is current as of June 29, 2020. Weekly report updates will be posted every Monday.

 

CFAP Eligibility

Eligible producers (person or legal entity) of specified agricultural commodities outlined above who have suffered a five percent-or-greater price decline as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and who face substantial marketing costs for inventories, are eligible for CFAP payments.

To be eligible for payments, a person or legal entity must have an average adjusted gross income of less than $900,000 for tax years 2016, 2017, and 2018. However, if 75 percent of their adjusted gross income comes from farming, ranching, or forestry, the AGI limit of $900,000 does not apply.

Persons and legal entities also must:

  • comply with the provisions of the “Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation” regulations, often called the conservation compliance provisions;
  • if a foreign person, provides land, capital, and a substantial amount of active personal labor to the farming operation; and
  • not have a controlled substance violation.

 

CFAP Payment Limitations and Structure

Payment Limitations

CFAP payments are subject to a per person and legal entity payment limitation of $250,000. This limitation applies to the total amount of CFAP payments made with respect to all eligible commodities.

Unlike other FSA programs, special payment limitation rules will be applied to participants that are corporations, limited liability companies, and limited partnerships (corporate entities). These corporate entities may receive up to $750,000 based upon the number of shareholders (not to exceed three shareholders) who contribute at least 400 hours of active person management or personal active labor.  

For a corporate entity:

  • With one such shareholder the payment limit for the entity is $250,000;
  • With two such shareholders, the payment limit for the entity is $500,000 if at least two members contribute substantial labor or management with respect to the operation of the corporate entity; and
  • With three such shareholders, the limit is $750,000 if at least three members contribute substantial labor or management with respect to the operation of the corporate entity.

Each individual shareholder will receive payment based on the percentage of interest in the entity. However, each individual shareholder remains subject to the $250,000 payment limit, which means that the entity may not realize the full amount of the increased entity limitation. There may be additional reductions if the shareholder has earnings through other farming operations.

Payment Structure

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. 

 

Ineligible Commodities and Request for Additional Commodities

Commodities that did not suffer a five percent-or-greater price decline from mid-January 2020 to mid-April 2020 are not eligible for CFAP. Specifically, this includes sheep more than two years old, eggs/layers, soft red winter wheat, hard red winter wheat, white wheat, rice, flax, rye, peanuts, feed barley, Extra Long Staple (ELS) cotton, alfalfa, forage crops, hemp, and tobacco.

USDA considered additional commodities to be eligible for CFAP by collecting information on potentially eligible commodities.

Producers of commodities not included on the original CFAP list who believe they’ve suffered a five percent-or-greater price decline between January and April 2020, and who face additional marketing costs due to COVID-19, had commodities that shipped but subsequently spoiled due to loss of marketing channel, or had commodities that did not leave the farm or remained unharvested as mature crops, had the opportunity to submit comments to provide information about additional commodities. Comments were submitted through June 22, 2020. The comment period is now closed, and USDA will announce any changes in eligible commodities for CFAP in the coming weeks.

Producers may have some commodities that are currently eligible for CFAP while others are not. If this is your experience, we encourage you to apply for CFAP now for your eligible commodities. If your commodity is added to the program, you will have an opportunity to amend your application.

 

How to Apply

Producers should apply through their local Farm Service Agency Service Center. While most USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only, FSA is working with our agricultural producers by phone and using email and online tools to process applications. Please call your FSA county office to schedule an appointment. You can find contact information for your local USDA Service Center at the bottom of the page, and check the status of your local USDA Service Center at farmers.gov/coronavirus/service-center-status.

A CFAP Call Center is available for producers who would like additional one-on-one support with the CFAP application process. Please call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance. The CFAP Call Center can provide service to non-English speaking customers. Customers will select 1 for English and 2 to speak with a Spanish speaking employee. For other languages, customers select 1 and indicate their language to the Call Center staff.

CFAP Application

We offer multiple options for signing and submitting CFAP applications to meet your business needs. Those include:

  • Manually filling out the application form and submitting to your local USDA Service Center. Producers who are interested in filling out the application manually can download the application form, AD-3114. If you need more space, you should use the AD-3114A continuation form. Instructions for form AD-3114 and AD-3114 continuation are available for producers to reference when filling out both forms. Application form AD-3114 is also available in Spanish with associated instructions.
  • Filling out the application form using our CFAP Application Generator and Payment Calculator. This Excel workbook allows you to input information specific to your operation to determine estimated payments and populate the application form, which you can then print, sign, and submit to your local USDA Service Center. NOTE: Microsoft Excel is required to use this workbook. Please download the workbook by clicking the Application Generator and Payment Calculator link, then save to your computer. You will need to open the file and enable editing and/or enable macros at the top of the Excel sheet to input information specific to your operation.
  • Completing your CFAP application digitally using our new online tools. Producers with an eAuthentication account can now apply for CFAP via our CFAP Application Portal. Step-by-step instructions are available in our CFAP Application Portal User Guide. Applications are completed, electronically signed, and submitted directly to your local Service Center through this online system. Producers interested in creating an eAuthentication account should visit farmers.gov/sign-in to learn more. Producers without an eAuthentication account also have the option of signing and sharing their CFAP applications online using our new document signature solutions initiated by Service Center staff. 

Producers self-certify when they apply for CFAP, and documentation is not submitted with the application. But you may be asked for additional documentation to support your certification of eligible commodities, so you should retain the documentation used to complete your application.

Other materials that may be needed:

In addition to the application form, our staff will work with you to complete portions of the CCC-902 – Farm Operating Plan – if necessary. Additionally, the following forms are needed for CFAP; if you are an existing customer, this information is likely on file at your local Service Center.

  • 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. Forms CCC-941 and CCC-942 (if applicable) used for certifying average AGI and Farm AGI are required to be filed by an applicant who is an individual or a legal entity (including all members, stockholders, or partners at or above the fourth level of ownership in the business structure).
  • CCC-942 – If applicable, this certification reports income from farming, ranching, and forestry, for those exceeding the adjusted gross income limitation. Forms CCC-941 and CCC-942 (if applicable) used for certifying average AGI and Farm AGI are required to be filed by an applicant who is an individual or a legal entity (including all members, stockholders, or partners at or above the fourth level of ownership in the business structure).
  • 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.

 

Background on CFAP

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, or CFAP, uses funding and authorities provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and other USDA existing authorities. This $19 billion immediate relief program includes direct support to agricultural producers as well as the Farmers to Families Food Box Program.

Eligible farmers and ranchers will receive one CFAP payment, drawn from two possible funding sources. The first source of funding is $9.5 billion in appropriated funding provided in the CARES Act and compensates farmers for losses due to price declines that occurred between mid-January 2020, and mid-April 2020 and for specialty crops for product that was shipped and spoiled or unpaid product. 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.

 

Educational Webinars

FSA hosted a range of commodity-specific CFAP webinars from June 9, 2020 through June 18, 2020. These webinars covered program basics and what producers should know to enroll in the program. Recordings of each webinar are available below.

Webinar Recordings

Specialty Crop Producers: We talk with one of the CFAP National Program Specialists to discuss what specialty crop producers should know to sign up for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.

Dairy and Non-Specialty Crop Producers: We talk with two of the CFAP National Program Specialists to discuss what dairy and non-specialty crop producers should know to sign up for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.

Non-Specialty Crop and Livestock Producers: We talk with two of the CFAP National Program Specialists to discuss what livestock and non-specialty crop producers should know to sign up for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.

 

CFAP and Small Business Administration Programs

Participation in SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or Economic Injury Disaster Loan program does not impact producer eligibility for CFAP or for any USDA farm program. The PPP duplicate benefit provision does not have an impact on FSA farm programs or farm loan programs.

 

USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program

Beyond direct support to farmers and ranchers, through this program, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service is partnering with national, regional, and local suppliers, whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of restaurants, hotels, and other food service businesses, to purchase up to $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat products. The program will purchase $461 million in fresh fruits and vegetables, $317 million in a variety of dairy products, $258 million in meat products, and $175 million in a combination box of fresh produce, dairy, or meat products. Suppliers will package these products totaling $1.2 billion into family-sized boxes, then transport them to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need from May 15 through June 30, 2020. AMS may elect to extend the period of performance of the contracts, via option periods, dependent upon program success and available remaining funds, up to $3 billion.

More information is available at www.usda.gov/farmers-to-families.

 

Broader USDA Efforts

In addition to CFAP, USDA has other programs and services available to farmers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Learn more at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

 

In the News

June 25, 2020: USDA Adds Digital Options for Farmers and Ranchers to Apply for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

June 4, 2020: USDA Issues First Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Payments

May 19, 2020: USDA Announces Details of Direct Assistance to Farmers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

April 17, 2020: USDA Announces Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

 

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