On Tuesday, August 11, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the inclusion of additional eligible crops in the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). USDA is also extending the deadline to apply for the program to Friday, September 11. The timeframe for eligible losses continues to be January 15 – April 15, 2020. The full announcement and details can be viewed here.
The newly eligible crops are: aloe leaves, bananas, batatas, bok choy, carambola (star fruit), cherimoya, chervil (french parsley), citron, curry leaves, cut flowers, daikon, dates, dill, donqua (winter melon), dragon fruit (red pitaya), endive, escarole, filberts, frisee, horseradish, kohlrabi, kumquats, leeks, mamey sapote, maple sap (for maple syrup), mesculin mix, microgreens, nectarines, nursery crops, parsley, persimmons, plantains, pomegranates, pummelos, pumpkins, rutabagas, shallots, tangelos, turnips/celeriac, turmeric, upland/winter cress, water cress, yautia/malanga, and yuca/cassava.
The following changes to CFAP have also been made:
- Green onions, pistachios, peppermint, spearmint, walnuts and watermelons are now eligible for ‘Category 1’ payments for sales losses. Originally, these commodities were only eligible for Categories 2 and 3 payments for marketing adjustments. The respective payment rates for these crops have been adjusted accordingly.
- Producers who newly apply for CFAP going forward will receive 100% of their total payment (not to exceed the payment limit) when their applications are approved. For already-approved applicants that received, or will soon receive, their initial 80% payment, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) will automatically approve and issue the remaining 20%.
Interested producers, especially those who have not worked with FSA previously, are recommended to call 877-508-8364 to begin the application process. An FSA staff member can help producers start their application during the phone call. They are also encouraged to visit farmers.gov/cfap for additional resources and form templates.
As of August 10, specialty crop growers nationwide have received just over $305 million in CFAP payments – only 4% of all approved payouts from the $16 billion program. Among Western Growers’ home states of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, roughly $127 million has been paid out to fresh fruit, vegetable, and tree nut growers. Western Growers members are encouraged to explore the USDA direct payment program to determine eligibility.
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