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WTAS: Trump Administration Provides Additional Direct Assistance to Farmers and Ranchers Impacted by the Coronavirus

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09/18/2020 | 06:10pm EDT

(Washington, D.C., September 18, 2020) - Earlier today, President Donald Trump and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced up to an additional $14 billion dollars for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19. After listening to feedback received from farmers, ranchers and agricultural organizations about the impact of the pandemic on our nations' farms and ranches, USDA developed a program to better meet the needs of those impacted. The praise for CFAP 2 has been widespread. Here is what they are saying:

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall : This lifeline will keep farmers and ranchers afloat as they continue to keep America's pantries stocked.

Sen. John Boozman (AR): Farmers & ranchers have long struggled with low commodity prices, volatile weather & unfair trade. Unfortunately, additional challenges brought on by COVID have amplified an already tough situation. I applaud @realDonaldTrump & @SecretarySonny for making more assistance available.

Sen. Steve Daines (MT): Great news for farmers and ranchers in Montana. Glad @USDA and @SecretarySonny acted on my request to ensure all classes of wheat are eligible for CFAP as well.Sen. Joni Ernst (IA): This additional support will help our producers as they continue to navigate the challenges created by the pandemic. I especially applaud the USDA for heeding my calls to include Iowa's turkey farmers in this new round of relief.Sen. Deb Fischer (NE) : I appreciate @realDonaldTrump looking out for rural America and providing this $13 billion in relief for our ag producers.

Sen. John Hoeven (ND): We appreciate President Trump and his administration's support for our farmers and ranchers.

Sen. Jim Risch (ID): Thank you @realDonaldTrump & @SecretarySonny for extending the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 to Idaho commodities like wheat & mink while improving support for our potatoes, dairy & beef.

Sen. Pat Roberts (KS): Once again, I thank President Trump and Secretary Perdue for their efforts to ensure American farmers, ranchers, and growers can continue to feed the country and the world amidst depressed commodity prices and disrupted markets.

Sen. John Thune (SD): Good to see this admin supporting American farmers & ranchers.

Sen. Thom Tillis (NC): I want to thank President Trump and Secretary Perdue for providing a second round of funding to help North Carolina farmers and including much-needed relief for tobacco farmers across the state.

Sen. Kevin Cramer (ND): America's farmers and ranchers are patriots who feed, fuel, and clothe the world. I applaud President @realDonaldTrump and @SecretarySonny for protecting them as the country reopens and demand for their products returns.

Rep. Troy Balderson (OH): Thank you @SecretarySonny for reopening the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program! I was proud to help create this program through the #CARESAct. This will support Ohio families' access to nutritious meals while minimizing potential exposure COVID.

House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member K. Michael Conaway (TX): I want to thank the President for his announcement of $14 billion in new aid to America's hard working farmers, ranchers, and dairy producers. This aid is vital to helping our farm and ranch families weather the current economic storm.

Rep. Frank Lucas (OK) : I thank Secretary Perdue and USDA for addressing the needs of Oklahoma's hard red winter wheat growers, expanding CFAP eligibility to include all wheat classes. As producers continue to provide food, fuel, and fiber for consumers, I will continue to work with USDA to ensure these changes can be implemented to best help Oklahoma's wheat growers.

Rep. Roger Marshall (KS ): This second round of payments continues this administration's commitment to the agriculture industry and includes all Kansas wheat farmers, many of which were left out of the first round of payments. It is essential we continue to provide our hardworking farmers, ranchers and farm families with the resources and assistance necessary to continue providing Americans and the world the safest, highest quality, and most affordable food supply in the world.

Rep. Dan Newhouse (W A): Over the past few months, I have worked with Secretary Perdue to advocate for our agriculture commodities that were originally left out of the CFAP, including apples, potatoes, sweet cherries, hops, wine grapes, and wheat; these industries are huge economic drivers for our state, and now they will be included. This assistance will provide desperately-needed relief to our hard-working producers and allow them to continue feeding the world - through this pandemic and into the future. Thank you, Secretary Perdue, for listening to the voices of Central Washington's farmers and ranchers.

Rep. Tom Reed ( WA): Earlier this month, we urged @SecretarySonny and the @USDA to expand the #CFAP program to include our nation's wine grape growers. Thank you for ensuring all of our farmers and agricultural producers have access to the relief they deserve!

Rep.Greg Steube (FL): More promising news for America's farmers! Thank you to @SecretarySonny for expanding the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) by $14 billion. We owe it to the farmers and producers feeding our families as they bounce back from COVID-19.

Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert , Jr.: Illinois Farm Bureau appreciates a second round of USDA coronavirus food assistance to make it through the market impacts of this ongoing pandemic. Today's announcement of CFAP 2 comes at a critical time for Illinois farmers entering harvest and an eighth consecutive year of depressed farm income, increased market pressures and below breakeven prices… Our thanks go to President Trump, Secretary Perdue and Congress for their leadership in making this round of disaster assistance available.

Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) President Carl Jardon: ICGA thanks the Trump Administration and Secretary Perdue for understanding and providing aid to corn farmers who have experienced the worst year of market demand loss due to COVID-19 on top of extreme weather conditions.

National Milk Producers Fed eration: We thank President @realDonaldTrump and @SecretarySonny for providing additional support to #dairy farmers through @USDA's latest round of disaster assistance, as well as Congress for providing the funding in the CARES Act earlier this year.

National Potato Council President Britt Raybould: We're pleased to see USDA has listened to the feedback of #potato growers and created a simplified program that reflects the true impact that government-mandated food service disruptions have had on our industry.

TN Fa rm Bureau: #CFAP2 - $14 BILLION more to farmers thanks to @POTUS and @SecretarySonny! It's been a tough time for all of us, and we're grateful for the support our most important industry and those who provide us with food, fiber and fuel has received.

National Turkey Federation: Next round of @USDA aid includes eligibility for independent urkey farmers! NTF thanks @realDonaldTrump & @SecretarySonny for addressing the needs of the industry in #CFAP2.

National Association of Wh eat Growers: NAWG thanks Secretary Perdue and his staff for taking our feedback these past several months and expresses great appreciation for making producers of all classes of wheat eligible for CFAP payments

Stewart Cathey, Chairman of the Louisiana Senate Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture and Rural Development regarding the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program: The additional $14 billion dollars in assistance will help ensure the resiliency of our Louisiana producers and alleviate the impact of the pandemic on our agriculture industry. We are greatly appreciative for USDA's recognition of Louisiana's challenges and swift response to stabilize the livelihood of our producers and industry as a whole.

Commissioner Doug Goehring, North Dakota Department of Agriculture: I am grateful to President Trump and Secretary Perdue for listening to our farmers and ranchers and modifying the program to cover more commodities to help meet the needs of those impacted in our agriculture community.

Louisiana Representative Jack McFarland, chair of the House Committee on Agriculture: I want to thank you and President Trump for your continues support of our farmers as they deal with losses because of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Secretary Mike Naig, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Lan d Stewardship: I want to thank President Trump and the USDA for continuing to support our farmers as they battle persistent economic hardships.

Commissioner Rick Pate, Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries: I want to thank President Trump and his team at USDA for the much-needed assistance. Our farmers and Ranchers have fed this nation during these challenging times at a substantial financial loss. These funds, along with programs being implemented by our department, will hopefully help agriculture in Alabama.

Commissioner Mike Strain, Louisiana Department of Agricultu re and Forestry: In Louisiana, we are very pleased and grateful for today's announcement of CFAP-2 payments to be implemented beginning Sept. 21… This needed assistance could not have arrived at a more critical time and will markedly help provide stability and enable many farmers to recover and rebuild their operations.

Commissioner Steve Troxler, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: I am certainly thankful that the administration and USDA included four major North Carolina crops in the latest round of coronavirus relief funding. Sweet potato, tobacco, hemp and Christmas tree growers will be eligible under the latest version of the program, which includes up to an additional $14 billion… I want to personally thank President Trump, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and administration chief of staff Mark Meadows for helping our family farmers.

Signup for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) will begin September 21st and run through December 11, 2020.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will use funds being made available from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act and CARES Act to support row crops, livestock, specialty crops, dairy, aquaculture and many additional commodities. USDA has incorporated improvements in CFAP 2 based from stakeholder engagement and public feedback to better meet the needs of impacted farmers and ranchers.

Producers can apply for CFAP 2 at USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices. This program provides financial assistance that gives producers the ability to absorb increased marketing costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Producers will be compensated for ongoing market disruptions and assisted with the associated marketing cost

CFAP 2 payments will be made for three categories of commodities - Price Trigger Commodities, Flat-rate Crops and Sales Commodities.

Price Trigger Commodities

Price trigger commodities are major commodities that meet a minimum 5-percent price decline over a specified period of time. Eligible price trigger crops include barley, corn, sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers, upland cotton, and all classes of wheat. Payments will be based on 2020 planted acres of the crop, excluding prevented planting and experimental acres. Payments for price trigger crops will be the greater of: 1) the eligible acres multiplied by a payment rate of $15 per acre; or 2) the eligible acres multiplied by a nationwide crop marketing percentage, multiplied by a crop-specific payment rate, and then by the producer's weighted 2020 Actual Production History (APH) approved yield. If the APH is not available, 85 percent of the 2019 Agriculture Risk Coverage-County Option (ARC-CO) benchmark yield for that crop will be used.

For broilers and eggs, payments will be based on 75 percent of the producers' 2019 production.

Dairy (cow's milk) payments will be based on actual milk production from April 1 to Aug. 31, 2020. The milk production for Sept. 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2020, will be estimated by FSA.

Eligible beef cattle, hogs and pigs, and lambs and sheep payments will be based on the maximum owned inventory of eligible livestock, excluding breeding stock, on a date selected by the producer, between Apr. 16, 2020, and Aug. 31, 2020.

Flat-rate Crops

Crops that either do not meet the 5-percent price decline trigger or do not have data available to calculate a price change will have payments calculated based on eligible 2020 acres multiplied by $15 per acre. These crops include alfalfa, extra long staple (ELS) cotton, oats, peanuts, rice, hemp, millet, mustard, safflower, sesame, triticale, rapeseed, and several others.

Sales Commodities

Sales commodities include specialty crops; aquaculture; nursery crops and floriculture; other commodities not included in the price trigger and flat-rate categories, including tobacco; goat milk; mink (including pelts); mohair; wool; and other livestock (excluding breeding stock) not included under the price trigger category that were grown for food, fiber, fur, or feathers. Payment calculations will use a sales-based approach, where producers are paid based on five payment gradations associated with their 2019 sales.

Additional commodities are eligible in CFAP 2 that weren't eligible in the first iteration of the program. If your agricultural operation has been impacted by the pandemic since April 2020, we encourage you to apply for CFAP 2. A complete list of eligible commodities, payment rates and calculations can be found on farmers.gov/cfap.

Eligibility

There is a payment limitation of $250,000 per person or entity for all commodities combined. Applicants who are corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships may qualify for additional payment limits when members actively provide personal labor or personal management for the farming operation. In addition, this special payment limitation provision has been expanded to include trusts and estates for both CFAP 1 and 2.

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.

Applying for Assistance

Producers can apply for assistance beginning Sept. 21, 2020. Applications will be accepted through Dec. 11, 2020.

Additional information and application forms can be found at farmers.gov/cfap. Documentation to support the producer's application and certification may be requested. All other eligibility forms, such as those related to adjusted gross income and payment information, can be downloaded from farmers.gov/cfap/apply. For existing FSA customers, including those who participated in CFAP 1, many documents are likely already on file. Producers should check with FSA county office to see if any of the forms need to be updated.

Customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP 2 application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance. This is a recommended first step before a producer engages with the team at the FSA county office.

All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including some that are open to visitors to conduct business in person by appointment only. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment. Service Centers that are open for appointments will pre-screen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel, and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Visitors are also required to wear a face covering during their appointment. Our program delivery staff will be in the office, and they will be working with our producers in the office, by phone and using online tools. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

#

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.

Disclaimer

ARS - Agricultural Research Service published this content on 18 September 2020 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 18 September 2020 22:09:02 UTC


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