Last week the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP-2) was reopening for enrollment on April 5th. COVID-19 continues to impact Alabamians, especially farmers, so this updated program is designed to help replenish some of the financial loss.
According to an article written by Mary Leigh Oliver, with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES), the first Coronavirus Food Assistance Program began in May 2020. There were 13,386 applicants in the state, and USDA provided more than $94 million in payments to Alabama producers. To continue providing financial compensation to producers across the state, CFAP 2 began later in the fall of 2020, where a total of 13,561 applications were approved in Alabama for payments totaling over $92 million.
It is the same CFAP 2 program that is reopening out of concerns that not all producers were aware of the program’s details and eligibility. According to Alabama Cooperative Extension System Specialist and Assistant Professor, Adam Rabinowitz, some producers received insurance and other disaster loss payments in 2019 that affected their initial eligibility.
“To account for these issues, the program will be reopening to allow new applicants and revised applications,” Rabinowitz said.
Agricultural producers of over 250 commodities who share in the risk of producing a community are eligible for this program.
In addition to CFAP 2, a new program, CFAP AA, is under review by USDA for contract growers who were not originally eligible for the CFAP 2 program. This program will provide contract livestock and poultry producers with program benefits. Row crop producers are also eligible for an additional automatic per acre payment.
For further information about the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, visit the Alabama Extension website, www.aces.edu, or contact a member of the farm and agribusiness management team.