USDA Announces Details of Direct Assistance to Farmers

(Washington, D.C., May 19, 2020) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced details of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to deliver relief to America’s farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Farmers and ranchers will receive direct support, drawn from two possible funding sources. The first source of funding is $9.5 billion in appropriated funding provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stability (CARES) Act to compensate farmers for losses due to price declines that occurred between mid-January 2020, and mid-April 2020 and provides support for specialty crops for product that had been shipped from the farm between the same time period but subsequently spoiled due to loss of marketing channels.

Request for Additional Commodities

Sod is not currently on the list of eligible commodities for relief funds. Producers of commodities not included on the original CFAP list who believe they’ve suffered a five percent-or-greater price decline between January and April 2020, and who face additional marketing costs due to COVID-19, may submit comments to provide information about additional commodities. The USDA will consider additional crops to be eligible for CFAP by collecting information on potentially eligible crops, and TPI has been in direct communication with them.

USDA is particularly interested in the obtaining information with respect to the following specific categories of agricultural commodities:

  • Nursery Products
  • Aquaculture Products
  • Cut Flowers

Read more about this request for information. TPI is working with the USDA on market impacts to sod production. If you have experience or information to share from your area please contact TPI directly at 847-649-5555.

CFAP applications open on May 26th.

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About the Author

Casey Reynolds, PhD
Dr. Casey Reynolds is the Executive Director at Turfgrass Producers International

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