The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) has approved more than $545 million in payments for farmers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).
In Arkansas, there has been more than $12 million approved in payments for various categories of crops or agricultural products.
The largest portion of the payments went to livestock producers. There were 7,313 applications for payments, and Arkansas producers received $10,189,364.96 to help absorb livestock losses.
The second-largest payment category was for non-specialty crops. For this category, Arkansas farmers received a total of $1,056,700.11 in payments. There were 887 applications as of the June 3 report. The FSA also distributed $583,390.93 in payments for specialty crops. There were 10 applications for the specialty crops category.
Dairy producers received $224,180.02 in CFAP funding. There were 13 applications for this category.
This funding is current as of June 3, according to the USDA. According to the agency, further updates will be released on Mondays at 2 p.m. ET. For the first six days of the program, the top five states for CFAP funding were Illinois, Kansas, Wisconsin, Nebraska and South Dakota.
Part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Stability (CARES) Act, the CFAP program is designed to compensate farmers for losses that were incurred as a result of crop price declines that happened between mid-January and mid-April in 2020. In addition, the program will provide assistance for farmers’ whose specialty crops were shipped but spoiled due to a loss of marketing channels.
In total, there is $16 billion available in CFAP funding. The payments are capped at $250,000 per individual or legal entity with exceptions for corporation, limit liability companies and limited partnerships, which can receive up to $750,000 based on the number of shareholders.
“The coronavirus has hurt America’s farmers, ranchers, and producers, and these payments directed by President Trump will help this critical industry weather the current pandemic so they can continue to plant and harvest a safe, nutritious, and affordable crop for the American people,” Perdue said in a statement. “We have tools and resources available to help producers understand the program and enable them to work with Farm Service Agency staff to complete applications as smoothly and efficiently as possible and get payments into the pockets of our patriotic farmers.”
Applications for the program will be accepted through Aug. 28, 2020.