The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced new programs and efforts to provide financial assistance to farmers (including nursery, greenhouse, cacti and Christmas tree producers) negatively impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The new program is called the USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers and is intended to reach more producers than previous COVID-19 aid programs, including small and socially disadvantaged producers, specialty crop and organic producers, timber harvesting, as well as support for the food supply chain and producers of renewable fuels.
What is CFAP?
The USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers program administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) includes four parts (see https://www.farmers.gov/ for all details). Of particular interest to greenhouse and nursery producers is the re-opening of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) program for new or modified applications for at least 60 days beginning on April 5, 2021.
Last year, greenhouse and nursery producers were able to apply for CFAP 2 payments based upon their 2019 sales, yet many producers were unaware of the payment program. Producers involved in the ornamental industry rarely deal with USDA FSA programs and offices – contributing to a lackluster enrollment for CFAP 2 payments. Those that did enroll were pleasantly surprised to receive payments for their 2019 sales.
How are payments calculated?
CFAP payments are calculated using the producer’s eligible sales in calendar year 2019, including crop insurance indemnities, NAP, and WHIP+ payments for crop year 2019, multiplied by the applicable payment rate below. If you already submitted a CFAP 2 application by last December, consider applying for a modification this round which may result in a higher payment.
What do you need to do?
- Please visit this site read about the CFAP 2 program for nursery and greenhouse producers: https://www.farmers.gov/cfap/nursery.
- Remember, if you also produce other crops or commodities or have livestock, etc – those may also be eligible for CFAP 2 payments: https://www.farmers.gov/pandemic-assistance/cfap
- Contact your local FSA office and schedule an appointment. You can find your local office here: https://www.farmers.gov/service-center-locator. Some producers may be able to apply online.
- Keep your appointment and provide necessary information to FSA.