U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced today that additional commodities are covered by the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) in response to public comments and data. Among other Non-Specialty Crops and Livestock, all sheep producers will now be eligible for CFAP. Only lambs and yearlings (sheep less than two years old) were previously eligible.

American Sheep Industry was excited about the announcement and ASI Senior Policy and Information Director Chase Adams said “We were very pleased that the USDA covered lambs under 2 years of age and wool when the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program was first announced, and we have continued to work with them since to include cull and replacement ewes.”

Adams continued on by adding, “With market data provided by ASI, we were able to show significant losses to those older ewes and we greatly appreciate USDA’s consideration of that data and inclusion of this class of sheep in their announcement of expanded eligibility. America’s sheep producers have been hit hard by this pandemic and this assistance will help our producers weather this storm.”

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is extending the deadline to apply for the program to September 11th, and producers with approved applications will receive their final payment.

To ensure availability of funding, producers with approved applications initially received 80 percent of their payments. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) will automatically issue the remaining 20 percent of the calculated payment to eligible producers. Going forward, producers who apply for CFAP will receive 100 percent of their total payment, not to exceed the payment limit, when their applications are approved.

“President 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,” said Secretary Perdue.

The full press release from the USDA can be found here.

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Northern Ag Network – 2020

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