CFAP 2 Brings More Relief to Pecan Growers
USDA announces second round of direct assistance for pecan growers impacted by the Coronavirus.
Expansion of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Begins Sept. 21
WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2020 – President Donald Trump and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced up to an additional $14 billion for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19. Pecans are included in this second round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2). Signup for CFAP 2 will begin Sept. 21 and run through Dec. 11, 2020.
“America’s agriculture communities are resilient, but still face many challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Secretary Perdue. “We listened to feedback received from farmers, ranchers, and agricultural organizations about the impact of the pandemic on our nations’ farms and ranches, and we developed a program to better meet the needs of those impacted.”
Background on CFAP 2
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will use funds 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 on stakeholder engagement and public feedback to better meet the needs of impacted farmers and ranchers.
Producers can apply for CFAP 2 at their local 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 costs.
CFAP 2 payments will be made for three categories of commodities – Price Trigger Commodities, Flat-rate Crops, and Sales Commodities. Pecans are classified under 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.
Pecans are included in this category and, at the moment, are listed under the “Fruits” section for eligible specialty crops. Visit the CFAP 2 Specialy Crop Producers webpage to see a breakdown on the five payment gradations.
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.
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 here. 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 their 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.