FSA programs are still open to applications

Harvest is winding down and hopefully that means you have some extra time on your hands to tackle those back burner projects. We are not talking about the “honey-do list"; there are some FSA programs you can still sign up for.

The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program is now in its second round. It is similar in process to the first version, but more commodities are included and it covers a different time period.

Farm Service Agency Administrator, Richard Fordyce says that they have seen a great response.

According to Fordyce, “The CFAP 2 program is a producer self certification in some cases and other cases the information needed to complete the application the local office has that, and so they can help populate the application. So, it’s pretty simple, again like CFAP 1, pretty simple application for producers to participate in.”

More than $8.5 billion dollars has already been paid to producers. “We’ve been able to get payments out the door relatively quickly. I was talking last week to a producer who applied and had a payment just a week later...,” he states.

If you want to participate in the program, there is only about a month left-- the sign-up deadline is December 11th.

Additionally, ARC-CO and PLC sign-ups continue until March 15th. Fordyce says that producers wanted more flexibility in the programs, they reached out to Congress, and it was granted through the 2018 Farm Bill.

“Now that we’re going to be signing up for the 2021 crop, now producers have the flexibility to take a look at market conditions and different things to make elections. They can change those elections now for this sign-up, that’s ongoing right now... They’ll also have the opportunity to do that in 2022 and 2023,” Fordyce explains.

Check in with your local FSA office for help on the applications, but be prepared before you go: “Just across the country with pandemic, we’ve got varying statuses of offices,” he notes. “We have offices that, at the most, have everyone in them and are accepting producers in either through appointments or a prescreening to make sure that folks are safe, both our producers and our staff.”

Even with some staff working remotely, Fordyce says that the team is still connected. “We continue to get more offices open more, but I will say if a producer in any country... they can pick up a phone, shoot an email. Somebody is going to answer that phone, somebody is going to see that email and return that email,” he adds.

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