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Farmers should start gathering information for CFAP applications

Farmers should start gathering information for CFAP applications

Beginning May 26, The U.S. Department of Agriculture will begin accepting applications for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.

CFAP program details are specific to agriculture commodities including livestock, dairy, specialty crops, row crops and wool. The program will provide $16 billion in direct support to farmers who have suffered price losses of 5% or more or have faced significant marketing costs due to the coronavirus. Payments are limited to $250,000 per person.

The program’s grants will be based on actual losses and will assist with additional adjustment and marketing costs resulting from short-term oversupply caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Full program details and commodity eligibility can be found on the USDA’s CFAP resource page.

To apply for the program, farmers must contact their local USDA Farm Service Agency office to schedule an appointment. Service centers are open by phone appointment only, and FSA staff will work with applicants via phone, email, fax, mail and other online tools. Farmers can find a local FSA office here.

Applications for the program will require farmers’ contact and personal information, farming operation structure information, adjusted gross income and direct deposit information for payment processing. Farmers should not send information to the USDA without first initiating contact through a phone call.

Additionally, farmers with existing relationships with a local FSA office should contact the office to confirm their contact information—including an email address and mobile number capable of receiving text messages—is current. Farmers without existing relationships should contact their local FSA offices to share their contact information.

As the application period approaches, farmers should begin gathering information required to apply for direct assistance through CFAP. That includes livestock and crop sales for January through April 2020 and estimated livestock and crop inventories for April through September to expedite the application process.

The signup process does not require an acreage report at the time of application, and a USDA farm number may not be necessary.

To learn more about CFAP, prospective applicants can watch the USDA’s educational webinar on program details. The webinar details the information needed to apply for payments through the program once the application period begins.