Details Finally Released on USDA Direct Payments For Farmers
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Farm Service Agency finally provide the details on how they will handle the distribution of $16 Billion in direct payments to farmers impacted by the COVID-19.
The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) will split the 16 million into two categories. 9.5 billion will go to farmers for losses due to price declines occurring between mid January to mid April of this year. It will also cover specialty crops that were shipped during the same time period but spoiled due to lack of marketing channels. The second portion, 6.5 billion, will address ongoing market disruptions.
Calculating payments will be based on the sector of agriculture.
The total payment will be calculated based on a producer’s certification of milk production for the first quarter of calendar year 2020 multiplied by a national price decline during the same quarter. The second part of the payment is based a national adjustment to each producer’s production in the first quarter.
Livestock include cattle, lambs, yearlings and hogs. The total payment will be calculated using the sum of the producer’s number of livestock sold between January 15 and April 15, 2020, multiplied by the payment rates per head, and the highest inventory number of livestock between April 16 and May 14, 2020, multiplied by the payment rate per head.
Different calculations will be used for specialty crops, non specialty crops and wool. To be eligible producers must have an adjusted gross income of $900,000 or less and the farm must be in compliance with highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation provisions.
Applications will be taken beginning Tuesday, May 26 with a deadline of August 28. If approved, farmers receive 80% of the amount immediately. The other 20% will be paid at a later date depending on the availability of funds. Applications will be processed through local Farm Service Agency offices. Here's where to find the nearest FSA office.
A recent webinar covered the application process. You can view the recording of the webinar and other CFAP information at Famers.gov/CFAP. Here are more details on how the USDA will distribute funds.