If you have not already heard, the USDA recently announced the next phase of relief to farmers and ranchers under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2). USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will be administering the program and will be accepting applications through Dec. 11, 2020.
What is different about phase two?
Walnuts are now included in the Sales Commodities category along with other specialty crops. Payment calculations will use a sales-based approach, where producers are paid based on five payment gradations associated with their 2019 sales. Payments for tree nuts will be based on the producer’s 2019 sales of eligible commodities in a declining block format using the following payment factors, and will be equal to:
- The amount of the producer’s eligible sales in calendar year 2019, multiplied by
- The payment rate for that range.
Payments for tree nut producers who began farming in 2020 and had no sales in 2019 will be based on the producer’s actual 2020 sales as of the producer’s application date.
Eligible sales only include sales of raw commodities grown by the producer. The portion of sales derived from adding value to the commodity, such as processing and packaging, and from sales of products purchased for resale, is not included in the payment calculation.
Example: A producer’s 2019 sales of eligible commodities totaled $75,000. The payment is calculated as ($49,999 times 10.6%) plus ($25,001 times 9.9%) equals a total payment of $7,775. More sample calculations and details can be found at farmers.gov/cfap/specialty.
There is a payment limitation of $250,000 per person or entity for all commodities combined. Applicants who are corporations, limited liability companies or limited partnerships may qualify for additional payment limits when members actively provide personal labor or personal management for the farming operation. In addition, this special payment limitation provision has been expanded to include trusts and estates for both CFAP 1 and 2.
Producers will also have to certify they meet the Adjusted Gross Income limitation of $900,000 unless at least 75 percent or more of their income is derived from farming, ranching or forestry-related activities. Producers must also be in compliance with Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation provisions.
How to Apply:
USDA FSA staff at Service Centers will work with producers to file the applications. Online application forms are available at farmers.gov/cfap/apply. However, producers interested in one-on-one support with the CFAP 2 application can also call 877-508-8364. A number of the application materials will not need to be duplicated if growers are prior FSA customers and/or participated in CFAP 1.
To complete the CFAP 2 application, producers will need to reference their sales, inventory and other records. However, since CFAP 2 is a self-certification program, this documentation will not need to be submitted with the application.
Because applications are subject to County Committee review and spot check, some producers will be required to provide documentation. Producers should retain the records and documentation they use to complete the application. Additional resources can be found via the farmers.gov/cfap webpage under Frequently Asked Questions.