More USDA Funding Support for Commercial Agricultural Producers

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Madison and Buncombe Counties announced additional funds have been provided for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions because of COVID-19. Sign up for financial assistance from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) began on September 21 and runs through December 11, 2020.

CFAP 2 is a separate program from the first round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, now referred to as CFAP 1. Farmers and ranchers who participated in CFAP 1 will not be automatically enrolled and must complete a new application for CFAP 2.  Producers can apply for CFAP 2 by contacting the Madison/Buncombe FSA Office at 828-649-2712 extension 2. 

CFAP 2 payments will be made for three categories of commodities – Price Trigger Commodities, Flat-rate Crops, and Sales Commodities.

Price Trigger Commodities. Price trigger commodities are major commodities that meet a minimum 5-percent price decline over a specified period of time. Eligible price trigger crops include barley, corn, sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers, upland cotton, and all classes of wheat. For broilers and eggs, payments will be based on 75 percent of the producers’ 2019 production.

Dairy (cow’s milk) payments will be based on actual milk production from April 1 to August 31, 2020. The milk production for September 1 to December 31, 2020, will be estimated by FSA.

Eligible beef cattle, hogs and pigs, and lambs and sheep payments will be based on the maximum owned inventory of eligible livestock, excluding breeding stock, on a date selected by the producer, between April 16 and August 31, 2020.

Flat-rate Crops. Crops that either do not meet the 5-percent price decline trigger or do not have data available to calculate a price change will have payments calculated based on eligible 2020 acres multiplied by $15 per acre. These crops include alfalfa, extra-long staple (ELS) cotton, oats, peanuts, rice, hemp, millet, mustard, safflower, sesame, triticale, rapeseed, and several others.

Sales Commodities. Sales commodities include most fruits and vegetables; aquaculture; nursery crops and floriculture; other commodities not included in the price trigger and flat-rate categories, including tobacco; goat milk; mink (including pelts); mohair; wool; and other livestock (excluding breeding stock) not included under the price trigger category that were grown for food, fiber, fur, or feathers. Payment calculations will use a sales-based approach, where producers are paid based on five payment gradations associated with their 2019 sales.

Additional commodities are eligible in CFAP 2 that weren’t eligible in the first iteration of the program. If your agricultural operation has been impacted by the pandemic since April 2020, we encourage you to apply for CFAP 2. A complete list of eligible commodities, payment rates and calculations can be found on the CFAP website.

Applying for Assistance

Producers can apply for assistance through December 11, 2020 by contacting the Madison/Buncombe FSA Office. The Madison/Buncombe FSA office is open for business by phone appointment only. Please call 828-649-2712, extension 2 for an appointment. Or email Charles.Zink@nc.usda.gov to request an application.