FARGO, N.D. – Only 63% of North Dakota farmers and ranchers have taken advantage of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) so far, and a North Dakota State University Extension agricultural economist encourages more to apply.
“This U.S. Department of Agriculture program supports any farmer or rancher whose operation has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic," said Ron Haugen, NDSU Extension farm management specialist. "The CFAP provides direct relief to producers who faced price declines and additional marketing costs due to COVID-19 -- and that's nearly all North Dakota producers.”
Recently, the application deadline was extended to Sept. 11, and the commodities included was expanded. Interested parties should contact their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office to apply or apply online.
“It is very easy to apply online,” Haugen said. "A calculator (an Excel spreadsheet) is provided at https://www.farmers.gov/cfap to enter your numbers. The information you need is your commodity sales quantities, sales dates and inventory.
“The calculator will do the rest. It automatically puts the information into the proper FSA form, which can be printed or scanned and sent to your local FSA office. Payment is usually received within two weeks.”
Haugen said this program offers payments to crop and livestock producers. Most of North Dakota's livestock producers have faced additional costs in marketing their inventories due to unexpected surplus and disrupted markets. However, some livestock producers may not have as much experience dealing with FSA as crop producers. He encourages them to apply because it is a simple process for the inexperienced producer.
In addition to livestock, traditional (non-specialty) and specialty crops, wool, dairy, nursery crops, aquaculture and eggs are included in the program. For a full list of eligible commodities and program guidelines, visit https://www.farmers.gov/cfap.
“These payments are a good addition to your cashflow in these tight economic times,” Haugen said.