In May, as part of the CARES Act, many agricultural producers were introduced to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). The CFAP program goal was to offset market disruptions due to the COVID-19 shutdown of schools, recreation venues, and other businesses across the nation.
The majority of South Dakota producers affected faced a 5 percent or greater price reduction during this time. Other eligible commodity products had the 5 percent market price reduction or a market loss situation that resulted in an unsaleable product.
SDSU Extension hosted a webinar to discuss the components of the program.
August 28, 2020 was the original closing date. As part of the original rules, USDA requested commodities omitted in the initial offering of the CFAP program to compile relevant information and submit it for consideration. Due to the number of commodities that filed additional information, there were many commodities added to the list of eligible products.
The most significant amendment for South Dakota producers is the addition of a sheep classification “all other sheep.” This category covers all sheep greater than 2 years of age, which would include ewes and bucks as part of the breeding herd or sold as cull animals.
Other additions included some aquaculture species, nursery crops and cut flowers, and frozen and liquid eggs. Notable exclusions that were reconsidered but not accepted were turkeys, honey, bison, buffalo, beefalo, and goats.
At the time of original sign-up, producers received 80 percent of the total, eligible payment. The additional 20 percent was reserved to ensure all potentially eligible producers would receive some assistance. USDA-FSA has determined CFAP was adequately funded and has plans to issue checks for the remainder of eligible funds, beginning the middle of August. Producers that received the initial payment should be watching for this second payment.
As of Monday, August 10, 2020, South Dakota FSA offices have received 17,924 applications, accounting for $349,358,902.75. Livestock applications received 71 percent of funds, non-specialty crop applications accounted for 25 percent, dairy applications were 3 percent, and less than one percent of the funds were applied for by specialty crop producers.
To make an application, or make amendments to their original application, producers should contact their local FSA office. To find the local office, visit the FSA South Dakota website. For more information on the CFAP program, visit the USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program website.