As reported in Spotlight earlier this week, farmers will be able to apply for USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) direct payments beginning May 26, 2020. Producers of all eligible commodities may apply for assistance through their local USDA Farm Service Agency Service Center. Specialty crop producers are encouraged to complete the application forms ahead of the application date. Producers can locate their service center and find application forms and additional information at farmers.gov/cfap.
To further assist our members, WG has prepared a handy set of Frequently Asked Questions, which can be found below and on the WG COVID-10 Resources Page.
Q: What is the timeframe for eligible losses?
A: Losses must have occurred between January 15, 2020 and April 15, 2020.
Q: Who can apply?
A: Producers (person or legal entity) of specified crops who have suffered a 5% or greater price decline as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and/or who face substantial marketing costs for inventories. Packers, processors or shippers without a growing operation are not eligible.
Q: Is there an adjusted gross income (AGI) limit?
A: YES. Any person or legal entity with an AGI of more than $900,000 is ineligible UNLESS 75% of the income comes from farming, ranching, or forestry.
Q: What crops are eligible?
A: An eligible crop must have suffered a 5% or greater sales price loss due to COVID-19 between January 15, 2020 and April 15, 2020.
This includes: almonds; apples; artichokes; asparagus; avocados; beans; blueberries; broccoli; cabbage; cantaloupe; carrots; cauliflower; celery; cucumbers; eggplant; garlic; grapefruit; kiwifruit; lemons; lettuce, iceberg; lettuce, romaine; mushrooms; onions, dry; onions, green; oranges; papayas; peaches; pears; pecans; peppers, bell; peppers, other; potatoes; raspberries; rhubarb; spinach; squash; strawberries; sweet corn; sweet potatoes; tangerines; taro; tomatoes; walnuts; and watermelons.
Click here for more information on USDA’s calculated per-commodity rates.
Q: What types of losses are covered?
A: There are three types of January 15-April 15 losses that are covered:
- Crops that left the farm and were sold, but experienced a 5%-or-greater price decline;
- Crops that left the farm but were unsold and spoiled due to loss of markets; and
- Crops that did not leave the farm or were unharvested due to loss of markets.
Q: Is there a payment limit?
A: YES. The maximum payment is $250,000 per person. For corporations, LLCs, and limited partnerships, a maximum of three shareholders can apply and receive a payment, thus imposing a maximum limit of $750,000 on such operations.
Q: My operations is a corporation/LLC/limited partnership. Are there eligibility requirements for corporate shareholders?
A: YES. Each shareholder must have actively participated in the farm, which entails at least 400 hours of active personal labor or management with respect to the operation of the corporate entity.
Q: What other requirements should I be aware of?
A: By accepting the funds your operation must comply with USDA conservation compliance requirements. Click here for more details.
Q: How do I start applying?
A: The application period is from May 26 to August 28, 2020. You must contact your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office to start and work through the process. Click here to locate your local FSA office, and please note that you must schedule by phone appointment only.
Q: I’ve been approved for a CFAP payment. When can I expect it to arrive?
A: Payments are tentatively expected to be issued within 7-10 days of when the application is received.
It is important to note that initial payments will be 80% of an eligible participant’s calculated CFAP payment. If funds remain available after the initial payouts, USDA will disburse the remaining available funding, and funds may be prorated if necessary.
For additional questions regarding the application process and necessary documentation, please contact your local FSA office.
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