IARN — A total of 28 agricultural organizations are asking the USDA to extend the application deadline for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). The groups sent a letter to Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue asking that the deadline be pushed past August 28, 2020. The funding, approved through the CARES Act, is providing much-needed financial support to livestock, dairy, non-specialty, and specialty crop producers. The letter says the current deadline “may exclude producers from participating in the program, including producers of commodities that were recently added to the list of eligible commodities, as well as those commodities likely to become eligible through the Notice of Funding Availability process.”
Along with extending the deadline, the letter strongly encourages the USDA to increase producer and stakeholder engagement initiatives. The 499,156 applications received so far make up just 24 percent of all the eligible farm operations. Several commodities have extremely low participation rates, including carrots, oranges, tomatoes, and apples. Those numbers may indicate many farmers aren’t aware that they qualify for CFAP assistance.
Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.