The USDA expands assistance to agricultural producers affected by the pandemic
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is revamping the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program to help more farmers impacted by COVID-19.
SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (KNEP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is expanding its Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) to include more agricultural producers affected by the pandemic, the USDA announced Friday.
The CFAP provides financial assistance to producers who suffered a drop in revenue from 2019 to 2020 because of the pandemic --in some cases refunding up to 80% of their losses. The revamped program extends assistance to some agricultural producers who were previously ineligible to apply, according to an agency press release.
The newly eligible include contract producers of swine, broilers, laying hens, chicken eggs and turkeys. Pullets and turfgrass sod commodities producers are now explicitly included among the qualifying applicants.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue says, the revamped program will build on the $23.6 billion in assistance already provided to struggling farmers and ranchers.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has left a deep impact on the farm economy, and we are utilizing the tools and monies available to ease some of the financial burdens on American producers to ensure our agricultural economy remains strong, independent and a global leader in production,” Secretary Purdue said.
The USDA says it will also update payments to accurately compensate producers who have already applied.
Some of the program changes are being made to align with the recently enacted Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. Other changes are made in response to an ongoing evaluation of the program.
Producers who wish to apply or modify their existing applications can contact the USDA’s Farm Service Agency between January 19 and February 26. More information is available at farmers.gov/cfap.
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