Marty Cozza (Risch), 202-224-2752
Melanie Baucom (Crapo), 202-224-6142
Nikki Wallace (Simpson), 208-334-1953
Alexah Rogge (Fulcher), 202-225-6611
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Starting on Monday, September 21st, eligible farmers and ranchers can begin submitting applications for the next round of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) support administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The program is the result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was supported by the entire Idaho Delegation, and includes $14 billion through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), to provide immediate relief through direct payments to farmers and ranchers. It is very important to note that any farmer or rancher who received payments in the first round of CFAP is eligible for this round of CFAP payments and should apply.
Due to the rapidly evolving nature of the pandemic, farmers and ranchers are encouraged to submit their application in a timely manner. To apply, farmers are encouraged to contact their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. Applicants are also encouraged to visit https://www.farmers.gov/cfap for details on information needed to apply, the program, and eligibility. The program is open to a large range of commodities including but not limited to potatoes, dairy, livestock, malting barley, aquaculture, sugar beets, wheat, and many more. The USDA has also asked for more information on aquaculture and nurseries to be better understand the impacts due to COVID-19. Signups for the program will start Monday and last until December 11, 2020.
The Idaho Delegation has been closely following the agriculture losses due to the economic downturn and the associated shutdowns of the food service industry and communicating the needs of Idaho agriculture directly to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. One substantial change that benefits Idaho that differs from the original CFAP payments is all classes of wheat are now eligible. The Idaho delegation signed both a Senate and House letter to USDA requesting this improvement.
The Delegation has sent letters to USDA outlining the effects of COVID-19 to dairy, potato, onion, cattle, sheep, grain, and hops production to ensure the CFAP program takes into account the diverse representation of the Idaho agricultural industry which is more than 20 percent of Idaho’s economy. The Idaho Delegation also sent letters to USDA expressing concerns with payment limitations given the larger sized farming and ranching operations in Idaho. The final rule on CFAP increased payment limitations from the original proposal and CFAP round two mirrors those revised payment limitations.