By Kaelin Lockhart
MONTGOMERY, Ala., Sept. 18 — Alabama farmers facing continued market disruptions associated with COVID-19 may be eligible for additional financial assistance through the second phase of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices will accept CFAP 2 applications from Sept. 21 through Dec. 11, 2020. Farmers may access a full list of eligible commodities and other details at farmers.gov/cfap/commodities.
Alabama Farmers Federation National Affairs Director Mitt Walker said farmers have been anxiously awaiting the announcement of additional funding programs to help lessen the detrimental impacts COVID-19 continues to have on the agriculture industry.
“Last night’s announcement of CFAP 2 was welcome news,” said Walker. “This assistance will be critical as farmers face another year of depressed prices, market uncertainties and most recently, catastrophic weather. USDA staff are working through the program specifics and will provide additional information in the coming days.”
Walker said the Federation is reviewing the details of CFAP 2 and will work closely with FSA to assist farmers in applying for help.
USDA will use funds from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act and CARES Act to support row crops, livestock, specialty crops, dairy, poultry, aquaculture and additional commodities. USDA has incorporated improvements in CFAP 2 based from stakeholder engagement and public feedback to better meet the needs of impacted farmers and ranchers.
Announced Sept. 17 by President Donald J. Trump and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, CFAP 2 will include up to $14 billion in direct support for agricultural producers.
“America’s agriculture communities are resilient, but still face many challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. President Trump is once again demonstrating his commitment to ensure America’s farmers and ranchers remain in business to produce the food, fuel, and fiber America needs to thrive,” said Perdue. “We listened to feedback received from farmers, ranchers and agricultural organizations about the impact of the pandemic on our nations’ farms and ranches, and we developed a program to better meet the needs of those impacted.”
Producers can apply for CFAP 2 at county FSA offices. The program provides financial assistance to help offset increased marketing costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Producers interested in one-on-one support with the CFAP 2 application can speak directly with a USDA employee at 877-508-8364.
Visit farmers.gov/cfap for additional information on CFAP 2, eligible commodities and payment limitations.