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Specialty crop growers can apply for CFAP 2 funds through October 12

Author: Megan Roberts, Extension Educator

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the sign-up deadline for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2). The deadline for new or modified CFAP 2 sign-up is now October 12. This latest CFAP 2 announcement primarily affects sales-based commodities (e.g. specialty crops and livestock production) or livestock and poultry contract producers. 

For many agricultural producers, there is no additional action required at this time for CFAP 2, as you have already signed up in the previous iteration of CFAP 2 in fall 2020 and/or you were already automatically sent additional assistance payments in late March or early April for certain eligible producers of cattle and row crops.* 

In contrast, if you are an eligible farmer that has not yet received a CFAP 2 payment or believe you may be eligible for a higher payment due to changes in CFAP 2, you may want to inquire very soon with your local USDA Service Center (i.e. county Farm Service Agency office) about a new or modified CFAP 2 application.

For sales-based commodities, the CFAP 2 changes affect the calculation options for determining the amount of CFAP 2 payment. According to the USDA, “an amendment to the CFAP 2 payment calculation for sales-based commodities [allows] producers to substitute 2018 sales for 2019 sales. Previously only 2019 was used to approximate the amount specialty [crop and livestock] producers would have expected to market in 2020. Giving producers the option to substitute 2018 sales for 2019 sales provides additional flexibility to producers who had reduced sales in 2019.” Sales-based commodities include, for example, more than 230 types of fruit and vegetable specialty crops, specialty livestock, floriculture and nursery crops, and aquaculture. The August 24 announcement added additional specialty commodities, namely grass seed.

For sales commodities such as specialty crops, you will need to provide 2019 sales figures. For many producers, your 2019 Schedule F coupled with your 2019 farm records will likely provide the information needed to determine 2019 sales. CFAP is a commodity based program, so make sure figures reported are based on the raw agricultural product, not any value-added processing and/or packaging. 

Let’s say you are a direct-sale producer and had $95,400 in total sales in 2019 related to production of bulk, unprocessed apples, strawberries, grapes and honey. Based on your 2019 sales, you'd be in the 10.6% payment factor for your sales of $0-49,999 and you’d be in the 9.9% percent payment factor range for your sales of $50,000-99,000. $49,999 x 10.6% = a payment of $5,300. $45,401 x 9.9% = a payment of $4,495. Total payment = $9,795.

Remember, if 2018 sales were higher than 2019 sales, 2018 sales may be used instead of 2019. Also, 2020 sales may be used for new producers that began farming in 2020 and were not in operation in 2018 or 2019

Full details on the entire August 24 announcement are available at Contact your local USDA Service Center for questions and application procedures. If you have not previously worked with Farm Service Agency, you will have some additional paperwork to fill out in addition to the CFAP 2 application. These forms include information such as name and address, basic personal and farm information such as your tax identification number, adjusted gross income information, direct deposit information to enable payment and information on conservation compliance. Your local USDA Service Center can help provide instruction on completing these forms for producers applying with Farm Service Agency for the first time.

This post is educational in nature and not financial or legal advice.
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