TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced updates to a key pandemic assistance program for agriculture producers. The updates to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP2) include expanded eligibility and increased flexibility. USDA has set a deadline of October 12, 2021 for eligible producers to apply or modify CFAP2 applications.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services are encouraging eligible Florida producers to review the program modifications and to apply via local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices before the October 12 deadline.
Modifications to the CFAP2program include:
- Expanding assistance to eligible breeding stock and eggs of all eligible poultry types produced under contract;
- Providing flexibility for contract producers to use eligible revenue from 2018 rather than 2019 if it is more representative;
- Additional flexibilities to account for operation sizes and new contract producers;
- Amended calculation for sales-based commodities to allow producers to substitute 2018 sales for 2019 sales; and
- The addition of grass seed as an eligible commodity.
“Florida’s agriculture industry suffered catastrophic losses due to pandemic-related market disruptions – with our seasonal crop producers experiencing over $500 million in crop losses in the first few months of 2020 alone,” said Commissioner Fried. “While we know the federal relief programs won’t cover the full extent of the harm felt since the start of the pandemic, they are providing much-needed direct financial assistance to our farmers in the face of continued challenges. I am hopeful these updates will allow for more Florida farmers to benefit, and strongly encourage all eligible producers to apply if you have not yet done so to take advantage of this assistance before the October deadline.”
Full details and application forms can be found at Farmers.gov/CFAP and 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 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.