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Coronavirus Food Assistance Program closes applications Sept. 11

Grace Connatser
Wisconsin State Farmer
Farm Service Agency

The US Department of Agriculture's Coronavirus Food Assistance Program is closing the application window Sept. 11.

The program was created to directly assist farmers and ranchers affected by the economic downturn of the global pandemic. CFAP is based on commodity prices, where a 5% or greater price decline will make the farmer eligible for cash payments from the USDA Farm Service Agency. The payments will also cover additional marketing costs as well as direct losses due to the economic crisis.

More than 160 commodities are eligible for CFAP payments, including livestock, dairy, specialty and non-specialty crops, eggs and others. A full list can be found on the USDA website. Farmers must also make less than $900,000 in average adjusted gross income according to 2016-2018 tax records, although the limit does not apply if more than 75% of a farmer's income comes from farming.

Farmers will receive 100% of their payment upon application approval. Funding for CFAP comes from the federal CARES Act, which provided $19 billion in emergency relief funding for Americans in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agency recommends producers call 1-877-508-8364 to get started on an application, or you can also apply on their website.