U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recently announced the USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. USDA is dedicating $6.5 billion in funding to reach a broader set of producers than in previous COVID-19 aid programs, with a specific focus on strengthening outreach to underserved producers and communities and small and medium agricultural operations. The original application period for CFAP 2 ended Dec. 11, 2020. However, USDA reopened CFAP 2 signup beginning April 5, 2021, for at least 60 days. A signup deadline will be announced at a later date.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 provides Additional CFAP 2 Assistance for producers of price-trigger and flat rate crops. This payment is equal to the eligible acres of the crop multiplied by a payment rate of $20 per eligible acre. FSA will automatically issue payments to eligible producers based on the eligible acres included on their CFAP 2 applications. Eligible producers who have already applied for CFAP 2 do not need to submit a new application to receive this payment.
Alfalfa falls under the “Flat-rate crops” designation. Flat-rate crops include crops that either do not meet the 5% price decline trigger or do not have data available to calculate a price change. Flat-rate crops were eligible for a payment of $15/acre in CFAP 2 for all acres certified to that commodity for 2020. Flat rate crops are now eligible for an additional payment of $20/acre under this additional assistance.
Here are a few important highlights regarding the additional assistance:
- Sign-up will remain open for at least 60 days from April 5.
- Farmers who have already applied for funding under CFAP 2 do not need to sign up again. Payments will be issued automatically.
- Farmers are eligible for an additional payment equal to $20/acre.