USDA has released the details of its Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), the $16 billion COVID-19 relief package for agriculture and, upon reviewing those details, the American Soybean Association (ASA) is pleased that soybeans are included, as well as livestock, a top customer for soy.
ASA President Bill Gordon, soy grower from Worthington, said, “We are very pleased that livestock producers are getting much-needed relief. Soybean farmers stand with our livestock producers, so this is both needed help for us and welcomed news for our friends in livestock.”
Producers of soybeans and other eligible commodities can apply for assistance beginning May 26 through their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) Service Center. Applications will be accepted through Aug. 28, 2020. It is important to note that USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only. Once the application period opens, farmers should call their FSA county offices to schedule an appointment. It is strongly encouraged to prepare as soon as possible for the application process. USDA has compiled a list of CFAP FAQs.
CFAP payments are available for eligible producers who have suffered a 5 percent or greater price decline from mid-January to mid-April 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and who are facing increased marketing costs for inventories. Eligible farmers will receive one CFAP payment, drawn from two possible funding sources:
- The first source of funding is $9.5 billion in appropriated funding provided in the CARES Act and compensates farmers for losses due to price declines that occurred between Jan. 15 and April 15 and for specialty crops for product that was shipped and spoiled or unpaid product. This payment rate for soybeans is $0.45/bushel.
- The second funding source uses the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act to compensate producers for $6.5 billion in losses due to on-going market disruptions. This payment rate for soybeans is $0.50/bushel.
A complete list of eligible non-specialty commodities and the CFAP payment rates can be found here.
“It’s not a perfect program, because unfortunately farmers who used prevent planting in Minnesota last year won’t see much benefit with CFAP,” said MSGA Director Bob Worth, “But I’m extremely pleased they’re looking out for both soybean growers and livestock producers.”