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USDA Announces $19 Billion Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

We have received many questions about who will receive Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), what are the determinations, etc.  I talked with Sherri Brown, Warren-Edmonson County Farm Service Agency Executive Director and they are still waiting on guidance from the state and national level on how sign-ups are going to occur and the specifics on how the payments will be made.  Please continue to watch our social media sites for additional information as it comes down about the CFAP program.  Below is the information from a press release from the USDA about the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.

At the bottom of this article is information about our USDA Service centers from their newsletter and a USDA website to check about updates.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). This new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program will take several actions to assist farmers, ranchers, and consumers in response to the COVID-19 national emergency. President Trump directed USDA to craft this $19 billion immediate relief program to provide critical support to our farmers and ranchers, maintain the integrity of our food supply chain, and ensure every American continues to receive and have access to the food they need.

CFAP will use the funding and authorities provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), and other USDA existing authorities. The program includes two major elements to achieve these goals.

  1. Direct Support to Farmers and Ranchers: The program will provide $16 billion in direct support based on actual losses for agricultural producers where prices and market supply chains have been impacted and will assist producers with additional adjustment and marketing costs resulting from lost demand and short-term oversupply for the 2020 marketing year caused by COVID-19.  

USDA will provide $16 billion in direct payments to farmers and ranchers including:    

  • $9.6 billion for the livestock industry
    • $5.1 billion for cattle
    • $2.9 billion for dairy
    • $1.6 billion for hogs
  • $3.9 billion for row crop producers
  • $2.1 billion for specialty crops producers
  • $500 million for other crops

 
Producers will receive a single payment determined using two calculations:

  • Price losses that occurred January 1-April 15, 2020. Producers will be compensated for 85% of price loss during that period.
  • Second part of the payment will be expected losses from April 15 through the next two quarters and will cover 30% of expected losses.

 
The payment limit is $125,000 per commodity with an overall limit of $250,000 per individual or entity. Qualified commodities must have experienced a 5% price decrease between January and April.
 

USDA is expediting the rule making process for the direct payment program and expects to begin sign-up for the new program in early May and to get payments out to producers by the end of May or early June.

  • USDA Purchase and Distribution: USDA will partner with regional and local distributors, whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of many restaurants, hotels, and other food service entities, to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat. We will begin with the procurement of an estimated $100 million per month in fresh fruits and vegetables, $100 million per month in a variety of dairy products, and $100 million per month in meat products. The distributors and wholesalers will then provide a pre-approved box of fresh produce, dairy, and meat products to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need.

Our USDA Service Centers in Kentucky will continue to be open for business by phone appointment only and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. While our program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with our producers by phone and using online tools whenever possible. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with the Farm Service Agency are required to call their Service Center to schedule a phone appointment.

I also encourage you to visit farmers.gov/coronavirus to keep up-to-date on temporary program flexibilities available as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sign up for Text Alerts from FSA: Keep up to date with deadlines & reminders sent straight to your phone

Subscribers Can Receive Important Program Reminders and Updates

Have a new message on mobile phone

Warren and Edmonson County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Sherri Brown announced that farmers and ranchers in (State) now can receive notifications from their county office through text messages on their cell phone.

Whether producers are in the field, on a tractor or even on horseback, this service enables FSA customers and stakeholders to receive notifications while on the go. Producers will receive text messages regarding important program deadlines, reporting requirements, outreach events and updates.

Producers can text KYWarren or KYEdmonson to FSANOW (372669) to subscribe to text message alerts from Warren and/or Edmonson County. Standard text messaging rates apply. Contact your wireless carrier for details associated with your particular data plan. Participants may unsubscribe at any time.

Please contact your local FSA office at (270) 843-1111 if you have questions regarding FSA’s email news service or the new text message option.

U.S. Agricultural Economy

The U.S. agricultural economy continued to struggle in 2016 as prices and incomes
fell for the third straight year following an unprecedented sustained period of growth during the 2007-2013 period. The USDA is projecting 2016 net farm income to total $67 billion, down 17% from 2015 and 46% off the record high established in 2013. Given yields trending up, lower productionus-ag-econ-bmp expenses, and higher government payments, the downturn in the ag economy is due solely to significantly lower prices as the markets react to mounting global supplies and depressed/stagnant demand. U.S. agricultural exports have declined from record high levels in response to a strengthening U.S. dollar, sluggish economic growth overseas, and abundant supplies. Land values and crop rents appear to be slowly adjusting to the declining ag economy. Despite the sharp downturn in the U.S. ag economy, lenders are reporting that the financial position of U.S. agriculture as a whole is still relatively strong following a period of extraordinarily high income levels. However, concerns are mounting for some high debt/younger farming operations given current cash flow/working capital issues and the continued depressed outlook for most U.S. agricultural sectors.

 

Source: 2016-2017 Kentucky Agricultural Economic Situation and Outlook, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment