ATTENTION: Wise County Farmers and Ranchers
USDA Now Accepting Applications for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
Ok Folks, you can now apply for USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which is making available $16 billion for vital financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a five-percent-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.
This provides direct payments to farmers and ranchers to offset impacts from the coronavirus pandemic. Applications will be accepted through August 28, 2020. They now have the application form and a payment calculator available on farmers.gov/cfap. They have a call center (877-508-8364) set up to help you with your questions. For details and to see if you are eligible please visit this site. Wise County Producers of all eligible commodities can apply through the Wise County Farm Service Agency office.
FSA is not open for walk-ins, as they are not allowed to open the office at this time, but they are available over the phone and by emails to walk you through the application process. Please be patient as they are very busy, overworked and understaffed during this time. They will get to you as soon as possible as it is first come first serve. FSA Director Tracy Meadows and his staff there are doing an excellent job working through the process even with limited resources.
If you have questions and cannot get through to them and cannot find the answers at farmers.gov/cfap then call the hotline above or give me a call or email and we will do our very best to help you.
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Wise County Ag Agent Marty Morgan, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office at 940-627-334
Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)
Coronavirus Food Assistance Program FAQ’s & Answers
I have been receiving phone calls and emails with all types of questions concerning this program. I have put together a simple man’s view of questions and answers to help you as you navigate through these uncharted waters. These answers are based on information from Farm Service Director Tracy Meadows(Wise) and Bo Epting (Cooke) and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Co-Directors of Agricultural Food and Policy Center, Dr. Joe Outlaw and Dr. Bart Fischer.
FAQ’s & Answers
From Marty Morgan, Wise County Ag Agent
I have been receiving phone calls and emails with all types of questions concerning this program. I have put together a simple mans view of questions and answers to help you as you navigate through these uncharted waters. These answers are based on information from Farm Service Director Tracy Meadows and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Co-Directors of Agricultural Food and Policy Center, Dr. Joe Outlaw and Dr. Bart Fischer.
There are two components of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program under the CARES Act:
1-Direct assistance for farmers and ranchers(16 billion)
2-USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program(3 billion)
Who is eligible to participate in the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program?
An individual or legal entity who shares in the risk of producing a crop or livestock and who either: a) is entitled to a share in the crop or livestock available for marketing, or b) would have shared had the crop or livestock been marketed. Processing entities are ineligible.
Am I Eligible?
- If you suffered a 5% or greater decline in the price of your commodity when marketed between January 15 to April 15,2020. Example–Cattle suffered a 26-30% decline in market price
- If a person or legal entity has an average adjusted gross income of less than $900,000 for tax years 2016, 2017, and 2018. Only exception to that is if 75 percent of their adjusted gross income comes from farming, ranching, or forestry, the AGI limit of $900,000 does not apply.
- If you marketed a covered commodity from January 15 to April 15, 20 (Cares Act payment rate)
- If you had unpriced inventory from April 16 to May 14, 2020 (CCC payment rate)
What does “unpriced” or “subject to price risk” mean?
It means not subject to an agreed-upon price in the future through a forward contract, agreement, or similar binding document as of January 15, 2020.
What commodities are eligible for CFAP?
- Non-specialty crops: malting barley, canola, corn, upland cotton, millet, oats, sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers, durum wheat and hard red spring wheat and wool.
- Livestock: cattle, dairy, hogs, lambs and yearlings.
- Specialty crops: almonds, apples, artichokes, asparagus, avocados, beans, blueberries, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, cauliflower, celery, sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, grapefruit, kiwifruit; lemons, iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, mushrooms, dry onions, green onions, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pecans, bell type peppers, other peppers, potatoes, raspberries, rhubarb, spinach, squash, strawberries, sweet potatoes, tangerines, taro, tomatoes, walnuts, and watermelons.
What commodities are not eligible for CFAP?
Ineligible commodities include: sheep more than 2 years old, eggs/layers, soft red winter wheat, hard red winter wheat, white wheat, rice, flax, rye, peanuts, feed barley, Extra Long Staple (ELS) cotton, alfalfa, forage crops, hemp, and tobacco.
What is the enrollment period for Applying for the CFAP Program?
The enrollment period is from May 26 to August 28, 2020. Whether an application is filed today May 27 or on August 28, 2020, the producers will get the same percentage of CFAP money for their applicable eligible livestock and crops. Processing and payments will be made on a first come first served basis, so it will benefit you to do as much preparation as you can!
What do I need to file?
Filing Form AD-3114 starts the process. Once obtained you can file it:
- In person, when/if available
- By mail (although this probably puts you further back in line)
- Electronically by FAX to your local FSA office
- Electronically by email with scanned or photo-copy of signed form AD-3114
- On-line directly with a possible computer-fillable Form AD-3114, BUT this method will require an FSA Level 2-eAuthentication account. Many farmers have such accounts, but if you don’t, you can get one at this link: http://www.eauth.usda.gov/ (and you should do so ASAP).
In addition to the application form, FSA staff will work with you to complete portions of the CCC-902 – Farm Operating Plan – if necessary. Additionally, the following forms are needed for CFAP; if you are an existing customer, this information is likely on file at your local Service Center. You will find these forms online at https://www.farmers.gov/cfap where you can download and complete. Your Local FSA office can help you fill out these forms and answer any questions you may have.
Note: BE PATIENT as they are understaffed and overworked during this time. Plus, they still have to take care of normal everyday business and all of the normal established programs currently going on.
- CCC-901 (Also Available in Spanish) – Identifies members of a farm or ranch that is a legal entity. Member Information will be completed by legal entities and joint operations to collect the following:
- member names, addresses, and Tax Identification Numbers
- citizenship status
- CCC-941 (Also Available in Spanish) – Reports your average adjusted gross income for programs where income restrictions apply.
- CCC-942 – If applicable, this certification reports income from farming, ranching, and forestry, for those exceeding the adjusted gross income limitation.
- AD-1026 (Also Available in Spanish) – Ensures compliance with highly erodible land conservation and wetland conservation.
- AD-2047 – Provides basic customer contact information.
- SF-3881 – Collects your banking information to allow USDA to make payments to you via direct deposit.
FSA has streamlined the signup process to not require an acreage report at the time of application and a USDA farm number may not be immediately needed.
Where do I File?
The CFAP AD-3114 Application can be filed in any county Farm Service Agency office, BUT, only the producer’s administrative county (where they live and have majority of their farming interest) can process and issue CFAP payments. Along with the AD-3114, there are an additional 5 max eligibility Forms required to be filed by each warm body applicant or entity share-holder that are only available at the FSA Office due to Privacy Act. We can only handle a certain number of phone calls each day and can only respond to a certain number of emails daily. In the meantime, keep in mind, there is application processing time required for FSA. There is no shortage of CFAP money. Whether an application is filed today May 27 or on August 28, 2020, the producers will get the same percentage of CFAP money for their applicable eligible livestock and crops.
Is Spousal doubling allowed when filing CFAP?
Only if an official partnership with a tax ID number. Texas is a community property state so what’s his is hers too. Or what’s hers is hers and what’s his is hers too! Ha. If separate property (land, cattle, finances, equipment, etc) before marriage and maintained separate after marriage then it is possible depending upon how tax returns are filed.
Would filing jointly on income tax qualify me?
Filing jointly is a combined expenses and income making them ineligible for two limits. They would have to file separate tax returns with nothing shared on expenses or income. Difficult to do and not very common. The partnership paperwork usually spells out who provides what inputs, in what share % and how proceeds are divided. Just like if you and I formed a partnership. No different for spouses. Both types require a Partnership tax id number. They can be in a partnership with a TIN or just cohabitate in a home with separate farming interests of their own. Again it’s not real common. Most marriages merge everything previously owned and then shared ownership on future purchases after marriage. Just having a separate banking account means nothing for a federal program pay limit.
A lot of married couples form a limited liability corporation (LLC) entity for tax and insurance purposes when they have hired employees but then again they are limited to one limit.
What will be my total payment amount?
- Use the payment calculator tool available to help you assess if the CFAP makes sense to you. You will find it at https://www.farmers.gov/cfap under resources.
- A producer’s payment will be prorated. They will receive 80% initially and the final 20% depending on funding availability
- payments will be made shortly after the application is approved by FSA.
A single CFAP payment will be made to livestock producers, but it is based on the sum of two distinct components:
- a payment for livestock marketed between January 15, 2020, and April 15, 2020, and
- a payment for the highest inventory of unpriced livestock between April 16, 2020, and May 14,
In both cases, the number of head are multiplied by the relevant payment rate in Table 2.
|Slaughter cattle—mature cattle||head||$92||$33|
|Slaughter cattle—fed cattle||head||$214||$33|
|Feeder cattle less than 600 pounds||head||$102||$33|
|Feeder cattle 600 pounds or more||head||$139||$33|
|All other cattle||head||$102||$33|
|Lambs and yearlings||head||$33||$7|
Table 2. Payment Rates for Livestock. Source: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Final Rule
Table 5. Payment Rates for Non-Specialty Crops.
|Average Payment Rate
|Hard red spring wheat||bu||$0.18||$0.20||$0.190|
Table 6. Payment Rates for Specialty Crops (including, but not limited to, the listed commodities).
Source: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Final Rule
CARES Act Payment Rate for Sales Losses
CARES Act Payment Rate for Product that Left the Farm but Spoiled Due to Loss of Marketing Channel ($/lb)
Payment Rate ($/lb)
|Peppers, bell type||$0.14||$0.22||$0.04|
What are the Next Steps in the pipeline of assistance?
As noted above, the CARES Act provided $14 billion in replenishment for the CCC. That funding will become available in June. It remains to be seen if and how USDA will tap into that funding. If letters from Capitol Hill are any indication, there will be a sustained push for USDA to use the replenishment to help row crop producers during the 2020 crop year.
Discussions on a Phase 4 (or CARES Act 2.0) package are already underway. The U.S. House of Representatives has already passed its version—H.R. 6800, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES Act)—on Friday, May 15, 2020. While the bill passed on a near party-line vote, it is now in the Senate where negotiations are underway.
The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) provides much-needed aid for producers who have been significantly affected by COVID-19. Given the scope of the challenges facing the agricultural industry, more assistance will undoubtedly be needed as the impact of the pandemic continues to unfold. As always, the information provided in this report is based on our review of available information, but eligibility for CFAP will ultimately be determined by USDA.
If you have other questions we will do our best to get them answered in a timely matter.
Contact me at:
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Wise County Ag Agent
Agriculture and Natural Resources
USDA releases additional information on $16 billion in relief for agricultural producers Overview of CFAP RR-20-02
USDA Announces Details of Direct Assistance to Farmers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, Farmers and Ranchers to Receive Direct Support for Losses Related to COVID-19 https://www.ams.usda.gov/press-release/usda-announces-details-direct-assistance-farmers-through-coronavirus-food-assistance
More info on CFAP and more: https://www.farmers.gov/cfap
CFAP Payment Calculator Preview – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rne7_cIVeFU&feature=youtu.be
March Margin Triggers Dairy Margin Coverage Program Payment –https://www.fsa.usda.gov/news-room/news-releases/2020/march-margin-triggers-dairy-margin-coverage-program-payment?utm_campaign=0520dmc&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery
Coronavirus Food Assistance Program-Final rule CFAP Final Rule
USDA Announces Details of Direct Assistance to Farmers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
Ready Set Go! Here is the news all you producers have been waiting for:
Beginning May 26, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), through the Farm Service Agency (FSA), will be accepting applications from agricultural producers who have suffered losses. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.
Farmers and Ranchers to Receive Direct Support for Losses Related to COVID-19-Heres the low-down
Make sure you are on their list by calling or emailing before May 26.
Call or email FSA Director Tracy Meadows/Office if you have any questions 940-627-2721.