CFAP Aid Surpasses $7b, But Little Going To Specialty Crop Producers
With less than a month remaining in USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, over 520-thousand farmers have been approved to receive funds to cover losses from the beginning of the year. Payments are now just over seven billion dollars nationwide, with three billion along covering losses incurred by drops in cattle prices when the pandemic emerged. Milk, corn, hogs and soybeans remain in the top five of individual commodities covered.
Missouri remains tenth overall in funding at 272-million dollars awarded to 34-thousand, 677 farms. 190-point-six million dollars is covering livestock losses claimed by 29-thousand producers, ranked seventh in the nation, while another 73-and-a-half million dollars is covering non-specialty crop losses for over 12-thousand producers. Missouri ranks ninth in that caretory. Meanwhile, 435 dairy producers in the state have received almost seven-and-a-half million dollars of relief. Iowa remains the most covered with 713-point-seven million dollars in losses covered. (NWMO: Over 46-thousand farmers in the Hawkeye State seeking relief, with 353-point-two million dollars covering livestock losses, 320-point-five million covering non-specialty crop losses, and almost 40 million dollars going to dairy producers.)
However, several lawmakers and ag groups are concerned that not enough funds have gone to specialty crop producers. A letter from House Agriculture Committee members, led by Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands, to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue is asking for increased funds. The lawmakers write that, “The direct payment program under CFAP has failed to provide equitable relief to the specialty crop sector.” They also say the funds have been particularly difficult to access for specialty crop farmers who are young, socially disadvantaged, or rely on local markets with diversified production practices.
This week’s update from the Farm Service Agency indicated that 305-point-six million dollars has been approved for distribution to eight-thousand specialty crop farmers. Almonds account for the largest specialty crop payments at 61-point-one million dollars, followed by potatoes at 31-point-six million. Only 30 farmers in Missouri have been approved for specialty crop funds, totaling 298 thousand dollars
Applications for CFAP funding are due to USDA by August 28th.