USDA Announces Additional Crops Eligible for CFAP Relief
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that additional commodities would now be covered under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced on August 11 that the deadline to apply for CFAP has been extended to September 11th, from the original deadline of August 28th, 2020. When the CFAP program was first released in May of 2020 the horticulture industry and specialty crops, including sod, were not part of the original funding program. However, the USDA also announced as part of Docket ID: FSA-2020-0004 that they would be willing to consider additional crops to be eligible for CFAP funding and that they were particularly interested in nursery products, aquaculture products, and cut flowers.
As a result of this request for information, AmericanHort partnered with state and national associations, Farm Bureau, and others to build a coalition of over 100 groups to communicate the needs of the horticulture industry to the USDA, the U.S. Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Congress. After these efforts, the USDA announced that it was going to extend CFAP eligibility to nursery and cut flower crops as well as indoor and outdoor grown plant materials.
Inventory already shipped but unpaid, spoiled, or that was lost due to marketing channels from January 15th to April 15th is eligible for funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) act. Additionally, the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) program will pay for inventory that has not left the farm and has spoiled or not able to be sold from January 15th to April 15th. Any inventory that can be sold after April 15th is ineligible for funding. Additionally, it is important to note that the reimbursement rate is different between CARES and CCC. The CARES act will reimburse products at 15.55% of the wholesale inventory and CCC reimburses at the rate of 13.45% of wholesale inventory. Payment limits through CFAP are $250,000 per person or entity.
Natural grass sod meets the definitional requirements of specialty crops, but it does not currently qualify for funding through CARES or CCC because it does not meet the requirement of a 5% or greater price reduction during the period of January 13th to April 10th, 2020. If your farm has experienced this price reduction then please contact Dr. Casey Reynolds at TPI’s office so that we can work with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to document these losses for future funding opportunities.
For more information on the CFAP program and funding requirements, please visit Farmers.gov by clicking “Read More” below.