Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

April 23, 2020

Secretary Perdue announced a new Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) to support farmers and ranchers through the coronavirus pandemic. The $19 billion package including direct payments to agricultural producers for actual losses across a broad spectrum of commodities, and USDA purchases of certain commodities for donation to food banks and other feeding programs.  While USDA has yet to publish specifics, Senator John Hoeven (ND) outlined some of the details.

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)

Direct Assistance for Farmers and Ranchers: $16 billion in direct payments for farmers and ranchers funded through the CARES Act and CCC:

  • $9.6 billion total for the livestock industry: $5.1 billion for cattle, $2.9 billion for dairy, $1.6 billion for hogs
  • $3.9 billion for row crop producers, $2.1 billion for specialty crops producers, $500 million for other crops

Producers will receive a single payment determined by using two calculations: (1) Price losses that occurred between January 1 and April 15. Producers will receive compensation for 85% of that loss. (2) Expected losses from April 15 through the next two quarters. Payments will cover 30% of expected losses.

For a commodity to qualify, it must have experienced at least a 5% price decline between January and April 2020.

The payment limit is $125,000 per commodity, with a maximum per person/entity total payment limit of $250,000.

Food Purchases

  • $3 billion in purchases of agriculture products, including meat, dairy and produce to support producers and provide food to those in need. USDA will work with local food and regional distributors to deliver food to food banks, as well as community and faith-based organizations to provide food to those in need.
  • $100 million per month in fresh fruits and vegetables
  • $100 million per month in dairy products
  • $100 million per month in meat products