The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program or “CFAP” for short, was mostly a big bummer for diversified, direct to consumer farms. It promised billions of dollars for farmers suffering from COVID-19 related financial losses, but in reality, for farms that receive better prices in higher value and direct to consumer markets, it wasn’t worth the time to apply for the modest amounts it would pay out.
Enter stage left, CFAP-2! Now, this new offering is something diversified farmers can actually celebrate. The USDA just recently announced details of the new version of CFAP, and the detail that will resonate most with diversified farms is that there is now a revenue-based payment option that is available for nearly all specialty crop and livestock producers. (Sigh of relief!)
It doesn’t look to be a huge payment, hovering around 10% of a farm’s 2019 sales. However, the fact that producers don’t have to submit proof of loss of revenue this year may make this program more worth the time it takes to apply. The program also offers a $15 per acre flat rate payment for grain, oilseed and hemp crops that previously were shut out of CFAP, and it extends the application process through the end of the year.
For more comprehensive information about all the COVID19 relief options for farmers, see the guide at Farmers’ Legal Action Group: http://www.flaginc.org/2020/09/navigating-covid-19-relief-for-farmers-updated-august-2020/.