AMES, Iowa — On Friday, September 18, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) for eligible farmers.
For beef cattle producers, the CFAP 2 payment will be $55/head on eligible cattle, which does not include bulls and cows. The calculation will be based on the producer’s highest one-day inventory of eligible cattle between April 16 and August 31, 2020.
In order to qualify, the farmer (or legal farm entity) must have had an average adjusted gross income (AGI) of less than $900,000 for tax years 2016-2018, or earn more than 75% of their AGI from farming, ranching or forestry-related activities if it exceeds $900,000. Farmers must also comply with conservation provisions and may not have a controlled substance violation. Additional restrictions apply to foreign-owned farms.
Historically, the cattle industry has not received direct payments because of financial losses, but the extraordinary drop in cattle prices in 2020 has left many farmers and ranchers economically vulnerable. CFAP 2 is a successor to CFAP, announced in April, which provided some assistance, but left many gaps for those affected by Covid-19 related market fluctuations and plant closures.
Many other Iowa commodities are eligible for payments under CFAP 2, including corn, soybeans, hogs, turkeys, broilers, eggs and dairy. Combined payments may not exceed $250,000 per farmer or $750,000 for farm entities that meet certain requirements.
“Many Iowa Cattlemen’s Association members will benefit from CFAP 2,” says Cora Fox, ICA’s Director of Government Relations. “We understand USDA’s rationale in targeting assistance for livestock producers who were more likely to suffer realized damages due to market disruptions. However, we recognize that the cow-calf sector may experience significant impacts related to COVID-19 in the near future and we must be prepared to provide them with support as needed. We will continue to advocate for additional support for our producers.”
Non-alfalfa hay and cover crops are also excluded from the program.
CFAP 2 applications will be accepted by USDA’s Farm Service Agency between September 21 and December 11, 2020.
— Iowa Cattlemen’s Association
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