The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) is asking the USDA to extend the deadline to apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).
Last month, an additional $13 billion in assistance was made available to help farmers and ranchers who are suffering losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the current deadline is Friday, Feb. 26, recent severe weather and the suspension of CFAP payments led to challenges and confusion surrounding the application process.
In a letter sent to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, AFBF President Zippy Duvall said, “The recent Regulatory Freeze Pending Review on all new and pending executive actions, though common during a change in Administration, has created confusion for farmers and ranchers with respect to eligibility and the application process for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program – Additional Assistance. Although Farm Service Agency offices continued to accept applications during the regulatory freeze, some farmers may have interpreted the implementation suspension to mean that the program was being modified or potentially terminated.”
AFBF is asking the USDA to extend the deadline to apply for assistance by at least 30 days after the regulatory review is completed.