This month has been very busy for farmers and ranchers. In addition to last week’s widespread winter snow storm, this is also the time for taxed and other paperwork to be in order. In order for farmers and ranchers to receive optimal access to government programs, American Farm Bureau Federation asked the new Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for an extension for farmers to apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). In a quick turn around, USDA just announced a CFAP extension deadline to ensure farmers and ranchers are able to apply.
The original deadline was supposed to be tomorrow, but due to recent severe weather and the suspension of CFAP payment confusion, Vilsack announced that USDA will be extending the deadline. The deadline of February 26 has been extended indefinitely, and the Farm Service Agency will continue to accept applications during the evaluation period. Interested applicants will have at least an additional 30 days to sign up after any decision is announced.
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said, “AFBF applauds Secretary Vilsack for his swift response to our call for an extension to the CFAP application deadline. Coronavirus aid is a lifeline for farmers and ranchers who are suffering from losses due to the pandemic. Recent severe weather and the suspension of CFAP payments led to challenges and confusion surrounding the application process. The extra time will help ensure America’s farmers have the opportunity to apply for help.”
In January, an additional $13 billion in assistance was made available to help farmers and ranchers who are suffering losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The updated CFAP program contains up to $1 billion for payments to contract livestock and poultry growers to cover not more than 80 percent of revenue losses during 2020. Eligible producers include contract growers of broilers, pullets, layers, chicken eggs, turkeys, hogs or pigs under contract in 2019 and 2020. The assistance is based on 80 percent of the difference in eligible revenue between Jan. 1, 2019, and Dec. 27, 2019, to Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 27, 2020.
Farmers can learn more about applying for CFAP here.