Billions Available for Farmers

Billions Available for Farmers

NCAT Agriculture Specialists Can Help with CFAP2 Applications

Specialists from the ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture program of the National Center for Appropriate Technology are available to help farmers and ranchers apply for assistance through the U.S.  Department of Agriculture’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) 2.

The CFAP2 program has almost $14 billion available to help almost every form of agriculture business impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. More crops and agriculture operations are eligible under CFAP2 than under the first CFAP program earlier this year.

Farmers and ranchers can apply directly at www.farmers.gov/cfap or by contacting their local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Office. The application deadline is Dec. 11, and those interested in applying are encouraged to do so as soon as possible.

Farmers and ranchers interested in getting help applying for CFAP2 can contact the staff at ATTRA’s free hotline at 800-346-9140 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT or at askanag@ncat.org. ATTRA also has an online chat system at attra.ncat.org.

In addition, a downloadable Excel workbook can calculate a farmer or rancher’s total relief payment and generate part of the application paperwork. The workbook can be accessed at www.farmers.gov/cfap or by calling a local USDA FSA Office. NCAT’s agriculture specialists can also help farmers and ranchers through the workbook.

Compared to the first CFAP program, CFAP2 offers a new category of relief payments for producers of sales commodities, which includes hundreds of specialty crops, aquaculture, nursery crops, floriculture items, and other commodities not included in the price trigger and flat-rate payment categories.

Relief payments for this wide category of goods are roughly 10 percent of the value of a producer’s 2019 sales. For example, a farm with a 2019 gross sales revenue of $125,000 could receive a relief payment of slightly more than $12,500.

Terrapin Farm in Whitefish, Mont., produces more than 500 varieties of vegetables, fruits, and herbs.  A farm with such highly diverse crops can simply report total sales revenue from 2019 as the basis of relief payment without having to list each product.

“I tried to access CFAP1, and it was just too burdensome to have to list each crop separately, particularly when the payment was so small for each crop,” said Judy Owsowitz, owner and founder of Terrapin Farm.

For CFAP2, a producer only has to document the total sales of eligible crops in 2019.

 

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