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USDA to give additional COVID-19 relief to pig farmers

The USDA is providing additional assistance to contract pig farmers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), applications are being accepted from 19 January.

18 January 2021, at 7:35am

US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide additional assistance through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), expanding eligibility for some agricultural producers and commodities as well as updating payments to accurately compensate some producers who already applied for the program. Producers who are now eligible and those who need to modify existing applications due to these updates can contact USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) between 19 January and 26 February. Some of these changes are being made to align with the recently enacted Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 while others are discretionary changes being made in response to ongoing evaluation of CFAP.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has left a deep impact on the farm economy, and we are utilising the tools and monies available to ease some of the financial burdens on American producers to ensure our agricultural economy remains strong, independent and a global leader in production,” said Secretary Perdue. “As part of implementing CFAP 1 and CFAP 2, we identified new areas of support and Congress recently directed us to provide additional relief. This additional assistance builds on to the $23.6 billion in assistance already provided to our farmers and ranchers impacted by the pandemic, and we will continue to implement other provisions enacted by Congress.”

The new changes

Expanded eligibility for CFAP 2

Contract producers of swine who suffered a drop in revenue in 2020 as compared to their 2019 revenue because of the pandemic now are eligible for assistance. Producers could receive up to 80 percent of their revenue loss, subject to the availability of funds.

Payments are based on eligible sales, and the payment calculation in the updated rule includes crop insurance indemnities, Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), and Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program – Plus (WHIP+) payments.

Updated payment calculations for CFAP 2

Similarly, FSA adjusted the payment calculation to use the producer’s eligible 2019 calendar year sales, and 2019 crop insurance indemnities, NAP, and WHIP+ payments, multiplied by the applicable payment rate for all sales commodities, which include specialty crops, aquaculture, tobacco, specialty livestock, nursery crops and floriculture, for CFAP 2. Producers who applied during the sign-up period that closed 11 December, 2020, can modify an existing CFAP 2 application between 19 January and 26 February 2021.

CFAP 1 "top-up" payments for swine

FSA is providing an additional CFAP 1 inventory payment for swine to help producers who face continuing market disruptions from changes in US meat consumption due to the pandemic. Swine producers with approved CFAP 1 applications will soon automatically receive a “top-up” payment of $17 per head increasing the total CFAP1 inventory payment to $34 per head.

More information

Newly eligible producers who need to submit a CFAP 2 application or producers who need to modify an existing one can do so between 19 January and 26 February 2021, by contacting their local USDA Service Centre. New applicants can also obtain one-on-one support with applications by calling 877-508-8364.

In addition to the changes being made to CFAP, per language in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, FSA will extend 2020 Marketing Assistance Loans to provide additional flexibilities for farmers. FSA is also preparing to move forward on implementation of the remaining provisions of the recently passed Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

Click here to learn more about this additional assistance.