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USDA opens up additional assistance for producers during COVID-19 pandemic

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WASHINGTON D.C., (HOI) -- President Donald Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue have announced up to $14 billion in additional assistance for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and costs associated with COVID-19.

Signup for the second round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) will begin September 21 and run through December 11.

The USDA is using funds made available from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act and the CARES Act to support row crops, livestock, specialty crops, dairy, aquaculture and many additional commodities. Producers will be compensated for ongoing market disruptions and assisted with the associated marketing costs.

The USDA has incorporated improvements in CFAP 2 based from stakeholder engagement and public feedback to better meet the needs of impacted farmers and ranchers, according to a release from the agency.

Those interested can apply for the CFAP 2 at USDA Farm Service Agency county offices.

CFAP 2 payments will be made for three categories of commodities -- price trigger commodities, flat-rate crops and sales 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.

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 include specialty crops; 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.

More information can be found here.

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