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Will there be a Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2.0?

Jul 28, 2020
By: Justin Van Zuiden
Agribusiness

Ag producers who applied for relief payments through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) were only guaranteed 80% of the payment they were eligible for. Bill Northey, undersecretary for farm production and conservation at the USDA, has indicated there should be enough money available to give farmers the remaining 20% by the time signup for the program ends on August 28.

However, Congress has acknowledged that farmers have suffered more losses than the $16 billion that CFAP provides. The USDA is awaiting direction from Congress on a new aid package. It’s expected that CFAP 2.0 will compensate ag producers for losses that have occurred since mid-April.

New commodities eligible for CFAP

On July 9, 2020, Sonny Perdue announced that the USDA had listened to comments from producers and made more commodities eligible for the CFAP program. The following commodities were added and open to application as of July 13:

  • Alfalfa sprouts, anise, arugula, basil, bean sprouts, beets, blackberries, Brussels sprouts, celeriac (celery root), chives, cilantro, coconuts, collard greens, dandelion greens, greens (others not listed separately), guava, kale greens, lettuce — including Boston, green leaf, Lolla Rossa, oak leaf green, oak leaf red and red leaf — marjoram, mint, mustard, okra, oregano, parsnips, passion fruit, peas (green), pineapple, pistachios, radicchio, rosemary, sage, savory, sorrel, fresh sugarcane, Swiss chard, thyme and turnip top greens.

Expanded guidance for seven eligible commodities

Originally, apples, blueberries, garlic, potatoes, raspberries, tangerines and taro were only eligible for marketing adjustments. However, the USDA found these commodities had a 5% or greater price decline between mid-January and mid-April as a result of COVID-19.

Peaches and rhubarb no longer qualify for payment under the CARES Act sales loss category. Corrected payment rates have been made for apples, artichokes, asparagus, blueberries, cantaloupes, cucumbers, garlic, kiwifruit, mushrooms, papaya, peaches, potatoes, raspberries, rhubarb, tangerines and taro.

Farmers and ranchers can apply for CFAP from anywhere using the online secure portal. If you prefer, you can also complete form AD-3114 manually. In limited cases, you can make an appointment to apply in person at your local USDA office.

If you need assistance determining the best path forward through the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, we here at Wipfli are happy to help. Contact us to learn how we can help meet your challenges.

See other agribusiness articles:

USDA issues details of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program for farmers and ranchers

CARES Act enhances value of net operating losses

Author(s)

Justin Van Zuiden, CPA
Senior Manager
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