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USDA issues food assistance program payments

Vincent Marshall
vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com

More than $545 million in payments to producers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program were issued recently, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

According to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, the USDA Farm Service Agency began taking applications on May 26 with the agency receiving over 86,000 applications.

“The coronavirus has hurt America’s farmers, ranchers, and producers, and these payments directed by President Trump will help this critical industry weather the current pandemic so they can continue to plant and harvest a safe, nutritious, and affordable crop for the American people,” said Perdue in a news release. “We have tools and resources available to help producers understand the program and enable them to work with Farm Service Agency staff to complete applications as smoothly and efficiently as possible and get payments into the pockets of our patriotic farmers.”

The top five states that received CFAP payments were Kansas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Nebraska and South Dakota.

There will be $16 billion in financial assistance available to agricultural commodity producers who have suffered a 5% or greater price decline due to COVID-19 through the CFAP program as well as for those who had significant marketing cost from lower demand, surplus production and shipping patterns that were disrupted, the USDA said.

Applications will be accepted through Aug. 28.

The USDA said producers will receive 80% of their maximum total payment once the application has been approved. The remaining payment will be made at a later date as funds are available.

For those new to the CFAP application, call 877-508-8364 to speak with the USDA directly.

Producers will need to make the call prior to speaking with the FSA at the local level of their county office.

Applications can be found at farmers.gov/cfap.
When visiting the website, a payment calculator will be available for producers to assist sales and inventory for calculating payments.

When applying for CFAP, producers will need to self-certify their records as that documentation is not submitted with the application.

Producers should retain the information used to complete the application as producers may be asked for their documentation to support the certification of eligible commodities.

For more information on CFAP, visit farmers.gov/CFAP or call 877-508-8364.

To contact the writer, email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com.