USDA on Tuesday prolonged the deadline for functions for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program till Sept. 11 and added extra commodities to the eligibility listing.
The adjustments are scheduled to be revealed in a Federal Register discover on Friday.
“President [Donald] Trump is standing with America’s farmers and ranchers to ensure they get through this pandemic and continue to produce enough food and fiber to feed America and the world. That is why he authorized this $16 billion of direct support in the CFAP program, and today we are pleased to add additional commodities eligible to receive much-needed assistance,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue stated Tuesday in a information launch.
The Agriculture Department has distributed $7 billion in Coronavirus Food Assistance Program funds — lower than half the $16 billion put aside for this system — and accepted 521,853 functions, in keeping with USDA knowledge launched Monday. The deadline for functions was set for Aug. 28, however 28 farm teams wrote the Trump administration asking to increase the deadline. The teams stated that some farmers don’t learn about this system or learn how to apply for it.
The American Farm Bureau Federation thanked USDA for responding to the letter from the farm teams. “COVID-19 has taken its toll on farmers across the country, regardless of what they grow or raise,” stated Zippy Duvall, president of AFBF. “No one can tell when this pandemic will end, and extending the deadline and expanding eligibility will provide a lifeline at a time it’s needed most.”
Duvall was hit with the virus final month however has recovered. He stated CFAP utility timeframe wanted to be prolonged as a result of the pandemic affected lots of farm households who usually are not aware of USDA packages. “We’re working to ensure farmers who now qualify for aid are made aware that it is available to them, and we encourage the USDA to expand its outreach efforts to do the same,” Duvall stated.
The listing of recent commodities contains liquid eggs, an business hit laborious by the closure of eating places and different food-service institutions. Aid to the liquid egg business has been a precedence for Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. All sheep and lots of aquaculture fish are included in addition to nursery crops and flowers.
Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-La., famous in a information launch that crawfish had been included and that he and Louisiana farm teams have been pushing laborious for its inclusion.
“This is great news for the crawfish industry, which was hit hard by COVID-19 and is so important to the economy and the culture in Louisiana,” Abraham stated.
USDA famous it had collected feedback and supporting knowledge for consideration of further commodities via June 22 and stated that, primarily based on the information, the next further commodities at the moment are eligible for CFAP:
— Specialty crops: Aloe leaves, bananas, batatas, bok choy, carambola (star fruit), cherimoya, chervil (french parsley), citron, curry leaves, daikon, dates, dill, donqua (winter melon), dragon fruit (purple pitaya), endive, escarole, filberts, frisee, horseradish, kohlrabi, kumquats, leeks, mamey sapote, maple sap (for maple syrup), mesculin combine, microgreens, nectarines, parsley, persimmons, plantains, pomegranates, pummelos, pumpkins, rutabagas, shallots, tangelos, turnips/celeriac, turmeric, upland/winter cress, water cress, yautia/malanga, and yuca/cassava.
— Non-specialty crops and livestock: Liquid eggs, frozen eggs and all sheep. Only lambs and yearlings (sheep lower than 2 years outdated) have been beforehand eligible.
— Aquaculture: Catfish, crawfish, largemouth bass and carp offered dwell as foodfish, hybrid striped bass, purple drum, salmon, sturgeon, tilapia, trout, decorative/tropical fish, and leisure sportfish.
— Nursery crops and flowers: Nursery crops and lower flowers.
Other adjustments to CFAP embrace:
— Seven commodities — onions (inexperienced), pistachios, peppermint, spearmint, walnuts and watermelons — at the moment are eligible for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stability (CARES) Act funding for gross sales losses. Originally, these commodities have been solely eligible for funds on advertising changes. The adjustments additionally right fee charges for onions (inexperienced), pistachios, peppermint, spearmint, walnuts, and watermelons.
— Federal Register — Notification of funding availability; Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) https://s3.amazonaws.com/….
– USDA — Coronavirus Food Assistance Program knowledge: https://nam03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/….
Jerry Hagstrom will be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Source: Jerry Hagstrom, DTN