The original deadline for the USDA’s $16 billion Coronavirus Food Assistance Program was supposed to be Friday. However, USDA extended the deadline to September 11. Here in Michigan, Joel Johnson, FSA Director, said signups are still going strong.
“USDA, the administration, have found a way to help assist the farmers in handling some of the disruptions in markets that is taking place,” he said. “It’s not going to cover it all, but it’s going to help a lot. We have had significant participation in Michigan.”
As of Monday, more than $178 million has been given to Michigan producers. Half of those funds have gone to dairy producers.
“$89 million going to dairy producers, not quite $42 million to other livestock, $38 million to non-specialty crops, and just over $10 million for specialty crops,” said Johnson.
The announcement Aug. 11 added new commodities like aquaculture and nursery that are eligible for the program.
“Payments going forward for new applications, producers will receive 100 percent,” he said. “The producers who have already received their 80 percent payments will now automatically be paid and many of them probably already have been paid the other 20 percent to make their 100 percent of payments.”
Once applications have been approved, Johnson said producer should receive funds after four to eight days. He is encouraging producers to see the newly eligible commodities for CFAP and sign up for WHIP+ for 2018-2019 disasters.