IARN — U.S. President Donald Trump and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on Friday announced “up to an additional 14 billion dollars for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19.”

USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey says the additional funding “will cover nearly every Ag producer out there.”

“(It is) a little broader in its coverage. We’re using a few different triggers, payment methods than we did the first time around,” Northey said.

Amanda De Jong, Iowa Farm Service Agency executive director, shares how the new payments structures differ from those featured in the first Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.

“On the livestock side, it’s a simple calculation,” De Jong says. “Producers are going to give us their highest inventory number between certain dates, and then there’s a flat rate. I’ll give you an example. For cattle it’s 55 dollars, regardless of whether your animal is a calf or a 1,400 pound steer. We’re doing away with those livestock weight categories.”

“On the row crop side, it is different,” De Jong says. “The formula is simple. Producers are going to tell us they want to apply. Our software is going to look at and pull from their certified acres they did with us this summer and fall (and then) we’re going to take those acres and multiply them by a payment rate. For corn, it’s 58 cents. For soybeans, it’s 58 cents. We’re going to multiple that by a crop marketing percentage and then multiply it by their weighted APH.”

Northey asks producers “have a little patience,” as USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) staff work through a sign up rush.

“You have until December 11 to sign up, but don’t wait until the end to sign up. You don’t need a lot of information to apply. We encourage you to apply as soon as it works out for you, and we look forward to getting a check out to you right away. Folks certainly need the support,” Northey says.

For more information on CFAP 2, visit www.farmers.gov/cfap.

Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)