The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program will provide direct relief to producers who faced price declines and additional marketing costs due to COVID-19.
About the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the Coronavirus Food Assistance program on April 17, 2020. CFAP will use funding and authorities provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and other USDA existing authorities. This $19 billion immediate relief program includes direct support to agricultural producers as well as the Farmers to Families Food Box Program.
CFAP will provide vital financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a five-percent-or-greater price decline or who had losses due to market supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19 and face additional significant market costs. Eligible commodities include:
- Non-specialty Crops: malting barley, canola, corn, upland cotton, millet, oats, soybeans, sorghum, sunflowers, durum wheat, and hard red spring wheat
- Livestock: cattle, hogs, and sheep (lambs and yearlings only)
- Specialty Crops
- Fruits: apples, avocados, blueberries, cantaloupe, grapefruit, kiwifruit, lemons, oranges, papaya, peaches, pears, raspberries, strawberries, tangerines, tomatoes, watermelons
- Vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, dry onions, green onions, peppers, potatoes, rhubarb, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, taro
- Nuts: almonds, pecans, walnuts
- Other: beans, mushrooms
Eligible farmers and ranchers will receive one CFAP payment, drawn from two possible funding sources. The first source of funding is $9.5 billion in appropriated funding provided in the CARES Act and compensates farmers for losses due to price declines that occurred between mid-January 2020, and mid-April 2020 and for specialty crops for product that was shipped and spoiled or unpaid product. The second funding source uses the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act to compensate producers for $6.5 billion in losses due to on-going market disruptions.
Beginning May 26, USDA’s Farm Service Agency will be accepting applications from agricultural producers who have suffered losses. While offices are open by phone appointment only, FSA will be working with our agricultural producers by phone and using email and online tools to process applications.
To learn more about specific commodities, click below.
Eligible producers (person or legal entity) of specified agricultural commodities outlined above who have suffered a five percent-or-greater price decline as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and who face substantial marketing costs for inventories, are eligible for CFAP payments.
To be eligible for payments, a person or legal entity must have an average adjusted gross income of less than $900,000 for tax years 2016, 2017, and 2018. However, if 75 percent of their adjusted gross income comes from farming, ranching, or forestry, the AGI limit of $900,000 does not apply.
Persons and legal entities also must:
- comply with the provisions of the “Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation” regulations, often called the conservation compliance provisions;
- if a foreign person, provides land, capital, and a substantial amount of active personal labor to the farming operation; and
- not have a controlled substance violation.
CFAP Payment Limitations and Structure
CFAP payments are subject to a per person and legal entity payment limitation of $250,000. This limitation applies to the total amount of CFAP payments made with respect to all eligible commodities.
Unlike other FSA programs, special payment limitation rules will be applied to participants that are corporations, limited liability companies, and limited partnerships (corporate entities). These corporate entities may receive up to $750,000 based upon the number of shareholders (not to exceed three shareholders) who contribute at least 400 hours of active person management or personal active labor.
For a corporate entity:
- With one such shareholder the payment limit for the entity is $250,000;
- With two such shareholders, the payment limit for the entity is $500,000 if at least two members contribute substantial labor or management with respect to the operation of the corporate entity; and
- With three such shareholders, the limit is $750,000 if at least three members contribute substantial labor or management with respect to the operation of the corporate entity.
To ensure the availability of funding throughout the application period, producers will receive 80 percent of their maximum total payment upon approval of the application. The remaining portion of the payment, not to exceed the payment limit, will be paid at a later date as funds remain available.
How to Prepare
USDA will begin taking applications for CFAP on May 26. While the application process has not started, you can start gathering and understanding your farm’s recent sales and inventory.
Your local FSA staff will work with you to apply for the program, and through forms that will ask for the following information:
- Name and address
- Personal information, including your Tax Identification Number
- Farm operating structure
- Adjusted Gross Income compliance certification to ensure eligibility
- Direct deposit to enable payment processing
Please do not send any personal information to USDA without first initiating contact through a phone call. We take your privacy and security of your information very seriously. You can find contact information for your local USDA Service Center at the bottom of the page.
How to Apply Once Signup Begins
While offices are open for business by phone appointment only, FSA will be working with our agricultural producers by phone and using email and online tools to process applications. Once the application period opens, please call your FSA county office to schedule an appointment.
FSA staff at local USDA Service Centers will work with producers to file applications. Applications will be submitted electronically either by scanning, emailing, or faxing. Please call your office prior to sending applications electronically.
In addition to the application form, our staff will work with you to complete portions of the CCC-902 – Farm Operating Plan – if necessary. Additionally, the following forms will be needed for CFAP; if you are an existing customer, this information is likely on file at your local Service Center.
- CCC-901 (Also Available in Spanish) – Identifies members of a farm or ranch that is a legal entity. Member Information will be completed by legal entities and joint operations to collect the following:
- member names, addresses, and Tax Identification Numbers
- citizenship status
- CCC-941 (Also Available in Spanish) – Reports your average adjusted gross income for programs where income restrictions apply.
- CCC-942 – If applicable, this certification reports income from farming, ranching, and forestry, for those exceeding the adjusted gross income limitation.
- AD-1026 (Also Available in Spanish) – Ensures compliance with highly erodible land conservation and wetland conservation.
- AD-2047 – Provides basic customer contact information.
- SF-3881 – Collects your banking information to allow USDA to make payments to you via direct deposit.
FSA has streamlined the signup process to not require an acreage report at the time of application and a USDA farm number may not be immediately needed.
CFAP and Small Business Administration Programs
Participation in SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or Economic Injury Disaster Loan program does not impact producer eligibility for CFAP or for any USDA farm program. The PPP duplicate benefit provision does not have an impact on FSA farm programs or farm loan programs.
- Frequently Asked Questions: These include recent questions that we have received from producers. They were last updated on May 20, 2020.
- Stakeholder Toolkit: USDA encourages producers and agricultural groups to share information with those in their network. This toolkit includes an article, an infographic, and social media posts.
- CFAP Prepare Now Infographic: This infographic shares what producers can do now to prepare for applying for CFAP.
- CFAP Introductory Webinar: This webinar hosted by USDA’s Farm Service Agency and Agricultural Marketing Service provides basic information on how producers can prepare for the upcoming signup for CFAP. The transcript for this webinar is available in Spanish.