USDA detailed the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program on May 19, 2020. FSA will begin accepting applications on Tuesday, May 26th. I have many farmer clients & some of you have been drastically impacted by the coronavirus.

Today, I have been doing a lot of research on this federal assistance program. Here is my summary.

Many different crops and livestock are included in this program:

Non-specialty crops: malting barley, canola, corn, upland cotton, millet, oats, sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers, durum wheat and hard red spring wheat and wool.

Livestock: cattle, dairy, hogs, lambs and yearlings.

Specialty crops: almonds, apples, artichokes, asparagus, avocados, beans, blueberries, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, cauliflower, celery, sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, grapefruit, kiwifruit, lemons, iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, mushrooms, dry onions, green onions, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pecans, bell type peppers, other peppers, potatoes, raspberries, rhubarb, spinach, squash, strawberries, sweet potatoes, tangerines, taro, tomatoes, walnuts, and watermelons.

Here is an example for cattle farmers:

Cattle Farmers, calculation of assistance:
1. Most of my “country farmers” fall into the category of OTHER CATTLE; that is payment of $102 per head sold between 1/15 – 4/15 & $33 per head in inventory (4/16-5/14)
2. If you raise cattle for slaughter, then you fall into the other categories & you will get more money from this program.

This is a grant & not a loan.

How to Apply: Once signup begins on May 26, applicants will be able to download the application tool & forms at Applications will be submitted via mail, fax, hand delivery or via electronic means. Contact your local service center for more information.

Here is a good video explanation on how to apply, once the link goes up on the website on Tuesday:

  • Payment limitations: $250,000 per person or per shareholder, (up to 3 shareholders). So maximum payment per entity is $750,000 assuming they have 3 members/shareholders
  • Payment distribution: 80% now & the remainder “at a later date as funds remain available”

When to apply: Local FSA offices will start accepting applications Tuesday 5/26

What to do now:

  1. If you have a relationship with local FSA offices:
    a. Make sure all of your forms are current/updated.
    Start gathering information you know you will need such as recent farm sales information (sale barn tickets, etc) and documentation of inventory.
  2. If you do NOT have a prior relationship with your local FSA office, then you need to get that established first. These are forms that you can go ahead & complete to get a head-start on that process. When they are completed, call your local FSA office & see how you need to submit them. NOTE: Most FSA offices are not open to the public yet.
  3. a. CCC-901: Identifies members of a farm or ranch that is a legal entity.…/do…/CCC0901_190416V01-fillable.pdf
    CCC-941: Reports your average adjusted gross income for programs where income restrictions apply.…/defau…/files/documents/CCC-941.pdf
    c. AD-1026: Ensures compliance with highly erodible land conservation and wetland conservation.…/Form-AD1026-Highly-Erodible-Land.…
    d. AD-2047: Provides basic customer contact information.…/default/files/documents/AD2047.pdf
    e. SF-3881: Collects your banking information to allow USDA to make payments to you via direct deposit.…/default/files/documents/SF3881.pdf
    f. There may be additional forms necessary.

More info in this FAQ document: