USDA announces second round of covid farm aid
By CHARLES H. FEATHERSTONE
For the Basin Business Journal
Farmers who missed out on the first round of coronavirus loss assistance are now eligible to apply for a second round of assistance under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP2).
The payments, which were announced by President Donald J. Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in mid-September, are intended to help farmers recover a portion of losses incurred as a result of lower crop and commodity prices prompted by the closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In most instances, farmers are eligible for payments under the program if the price of their crops fell by 5 percent or more beginning in March 2020.
Payments will be available to producers of historical program crops such as wheat and corn as well as specialty crops grown widely in the Columbia Basin like potatoes and apples.
USDA is providing $14 billion for payments to farmers under CFAP2, mostly from existing monies in the USDA Commodity Credit Corporation and appropriated as part of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed in April.
The deadline for new applications is Dec. 11.
“Central Washington’s agriculture producers are resilient, but the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on our ability to maintain a strong, stable food supply chain,” said Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Yakima. “Over the past few months, I have worked with Secretary Perdue to advocate for our agriculture commodities that were originally left out of the CFAP, including apples, potatoes, sweet cherries, hops, wine grapes and wheat; these industries are huge economic drivers for our state, and now they will be included.”
“This assistance will provide desperately-needed relief to our hard-working producers and allow them to continue feeding the world – through this pandemic and into the future. Thank you, Secretary Perdue, for listening to the voices of Central Washington’s farmers and ranchers,” Newhouse said.
Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at email@example.com.