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COVID-19 agriculture updates: May 21

Good morning DeSoto and Sarasota County producers!

The time has come: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) applications open on Tuesday, May 26th. This is the federal program designed to reimburse farmers and ranchers who experienced at least a 5% financial losses due to Coronavirus.

I am going to attempt to summarize it down to the most essential things you need to know. If you would like to skip my summary and go right to the source, here’s the link to the website: https://www.farmers.gov/cfap.

Here’s the who, when, how, and what summary:

Who is eligible?

  • Wool. This category doesn’t have a special webpage, put there is a dropdown menu about wool halfway down this page: https://www.farmers.gov/cfap
  • Cattle, hogs, and sheep (lambs and yearlings only). At this time, no other livestock are eligible. Here’s the webpage for more info specific to this category, including payment rate chart: https://www.farmers.gov/cfap/livestock
  • Dairy. This category doesn’t have a special webpage, put there is a dropdown menu about dairy halfway down this page: https://www.farmers.gov/cfap
  • Specialty crops (fruits, vegetables, nuts, dry beans, mushrooms). Not all fruits and vegetables are included. Here’s the webpage for more info specific to this category: https://www.farmers.gov/cfap/specialty

 

Who is not currently eligible?

  • sheep more than two years old, eggs/layers, soft red winter wheat, hard red winter wheat, white wheat, rice, flax, rye, peanuts, feed barley, Extra Long Staple (ELS) cotton, alfalfa, forage crops, hemp, and tobacco

 

Who could be eligible in the future?

  • USDA is taking requests for additional commodities to be added to the eligible list. If you have suffered a 5% or greater price decline between January and April of this year with a crop not currently eligible, the USDA wants to know.
  • USDA is particularly interested in more information from producers of nursery products, cut flowers, and aquaculture products.

 

Other eligibility criteria:

  • To be eligible for payments, a person or legal entity must have an average adjusted gross income of less than $900,000 for tax years 2016, 2017, and 2018. However, if 75 percent of adjusted gross income comes from farming, ranching, or forestry, the AGI limit of $900,000 does not apply.
  • Persons and legal entities also must:
    • comply with the provisions of the “Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation” regulations, often called the conservation compliance provisions;
    • if a foreign person, provides land, capital, and a substantial amount of active personal labor to the farming operation; and
    • not have a controlled substance violation.

 

When should you apply?

  • ASAP!!
  • Applications will be accepted through August but funds will be distributed on a first-come-first-serve basis.

 

How do you apply?

  • FSA staff at local USDA Service Centers will work with producers to file applications. Applications will be submitted electronically either by scanning, emailing, or faxing.
  • The FSA office that serves both Sarasota and DeSoto County is in Wachula; call now to set up an appointment:

WAUCHULA SERVICE CENTER
316 N 7TH AVE
WAUCHULA, FL 33873-2606
(800) 243-9912
(863) 773-4764 ext 2

 

What forms do you need to fill out?

  • If you are new to FSA, you will need to fill out the following forms. If you are an existing client, your FSA office likely already has these on file. Click on the form names to see each form:
    • CCC-901 (Also Available in Spanish) – Identifies members of a farm or ranch that is a legal entity. Member Information will be completed by legal entities and joint operations to collect the following:
      • member names, addresses, and Tax Identification Numbers
      • citizenship status
    • CCC-941 (Also Available in Spanish) – Reports your average adjusted gross income for programs where income restrictions apply.
    • CCC-942 – If applicable, this certification reports income from farming, ranching, and forestry, for those exceeding the adjusted gross income limitation.
    • AD-1026 (Also Available in Spanish) – Ensures compliance with highly erodible land conservation and wetland conservation.
    • AD-2047 – Provides basic customer contact information.
    • SF-3881 – Collects your banking information to allow USDA to make payments to you via direct deposit.
    • You might also need to complete sections of the CCC-902 – Farm Operating Plan form; FSA staff will help you fill out the necessary sections.

 

Let me know if there is anything I can help you with.

All my best to all of you,

Sarah Bostick

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