USDA coronavirus food assistance program applications available now for producers
Agricultural producers can now apply for USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which provides direct payments to offset impacts from the coronavirus pandemic.
The application and a payment calculator are now available online, and USDA’s Farm Service Agency staff members are available via phone, fax and online tools to help producers complete applications. The agency set up a call center in order to simplify how they serve new customers across the nation.
“We know Tennessee producers are facing a tough time now, and we are making every effort to provide much needed support as quickly as possible,” said Mike Mayfield, state executive director for FSA in Tennessee. “FSA is available over the phone and virtually to walk you through the application process, whether it’s the first time you’ve worked with FSA, or if you know us quite well.”
Applications will be accepted through Aug. 28.
Through CFAP, USDA is making available $16 billion for financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have had a 5% or greater price decline due to COVID-19 and face additional significant marketing costs as a result of lower demand, surplus production, and disruptions to shipping patterns and the orderly marketing of commodities.
“We also want to remind producers that the program is structured to ensure the availability of funding for all eligible producers who apply,” Mayfield said.
Producers can download the CFAP application and other eligibility forms from farmers.gov/cfap. Also, on that webpage, producers can find a payment calculator to help identify sales and inventory records needed to apply and calculate potential payments.
Producers in search of one-on-one support with the CFAP application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance.
USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only, and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. While program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with producers by phone and using online tools whenever possible. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with the FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other Service Center agency are required to call their Service Center to schedule a phone appointment.