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On Friday, President Donald J. Trump and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced up to an additional $14 billion dollars for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19. The newly announced aid would be the second tranche of money issued as part of the Trump administration’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.

“America’s agriculture communities are resilient, but still face many challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” said Secretary Perdue.

In April, the administration unveiled the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), a $19 billion relief program for the agriculture sector. CFAP included $16 billion in direct payments to farmers and ranchers and $3 billion in mass purchases of dairy, meat and produce. The funds came from coronavirus-relief legislation passed by Congress earlier this year as well as from the Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC).

CFAP 2 payments will be provided based on three categories of commodities – Price Trigger Commodities, Flat-rate Crops and Sales Commodities.

Price Trigger Commodities

Price trigger commodities are major commodities that meet a minimum five-percent price decline over a specified period of time. Price trigger commodities eligible for CFAP 2 are outlined below.

Flat-Rate Crops

Flat-rate crops either do not meet the five-percent price decline trigger or do not have data available to calculate a price change.

Sales Commodities

Sales commodities eligible for CFAP 2 include specialty crops, aquaculture, nursery crops and floriculture, and other commodities not included in the price trigger and flat-rate payment categories.

Additional commodities are eligible in CFAP 2 that weren’t eligible in the first iteration of the program. A complete list of eligible commodities, payment rates and calculations can be found on HERE.

“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,” Perdue said in the statement.

There is a payment limitation of $250,000 per person or entity for all commodities combined. Applicants who are corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships may qualify for additional payment limits when members actively provide personal labor or personal management for the farming operation. In addition, this special payment limitation provision has been expanded to include trusts and estates for both CFAP 1 and 2.

Producers will also have to certify they meet the Adjusted Gross Income limitation of $900,000 unless at least 75 percent or more of their income is derived from farming, ranching or forestry-related activities. Producers must also be in compliance with Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation provisions.

Sign up for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) will begin this upcoming Monday, September 21 and run through December 11, 2020. Producers can apply for CFAP 2 at USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices.

Denise Bode
Bio Link Denise co-leads the federal practice at Michael Best Strategies with expertise in association and coalition management as well as development of public policy strategies, at both the state and federal level. She was active, on behalf of firm clients, during the recent federal tax reform debate, much as she was during the last major tax reform in 1986. Expertise: Regulatory Law, Tax & Trade, Energy, Environmental, Food, Agriculture, and Telecommunications

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