The application period for a federal program offering assistance to local farmers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic has been extended through September 11. That date is less than a month away, however, and farmers are encouraged to apply soon if they have not already submitted an application.
Cattle, sheep, hog, trout, corn, and other producers are eligible for financial assistance from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).
The CFAP program provides direct payments to producers of certain livestock, non-specialty crops, wool, dairy, specialty crops, nursery crops and cut flowers, and aquaculture including trout. Producers should contact the Swain/Jackson County FSA Office in Bryson City at (828) 488-2684, extension 2, to sign up before the September 11 deadline.
Livestock eligible for CFAP include cattle, sheep, and hogs. Previously, eligible sheep only included lambs and yearlings under two years of age, but the program was recently expanded and now includes all sheep. The total payment will be calculated using the sum of the producer’s number of livestock sold between January 15 and April 15, multiplied by the payment rates per head, and the highest inventory number of livestock between April 16 and May 14 multiplied by the payment rate per head.
Nursery crops, cut flowers, and trout and other aquaculture species were not included in the original rollout of CFAP, but were added effective August 17. Nursery operators and trout farmers who experienced price or sales losses in the first quarter of 2020 are encouraged to apply.
Non-specialty crops eligible for CFAP payments include corn, soybeans, malting barley, millet, oats, sorghum, sunflowers, durum wheat, and hard red spring wheat. Wool is also eligible. Producers will be paid based on inventory subject to price risk held as of January 15, 2020. A payment will be made based on 50 percent of a producer’s 2019 total production or the 2019 inventory as of January 15, 2020, whichever is smaller, multiplied by the commodity’s applicable payment rates.
The Swain/Jackson County FSA Office is open for business by phone appointment only, on Thursdays and Fridays. Please call (828) 488-2684, extension 2. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.