Eligibility Expanded in Newest Round of Federal Agriculture Relief Funding After Pressure from Costa
(WASHINGTON) Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement after the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced an additional $14 billion dollars in relief (CFAP 2) for ag producers who continue to face disruptions due to COVID-19, including producers of specialty crops left out of the first round of assistance in which Rep. Costa fought for inclusion:
“I’m pleased the USDA considered the diverse nature of specialty crops in California in this newest round of relief for our food producers,” said Costa. “We made significant efforts to push the USDA to develop an equitable program and to remember that not all impacts are measured simply by price loss. Agriculture is a national security issue; we need to treat it as such. As California is the number one agricultural state in so many different categories, it’s critical that our farmers be treated fair and equitably.
The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) payments will provide eligible producers with financial assistance that gives them the ability to absorb some of the increased marketing costs associated with the COVID-19 outbreak.
Several Valley crops - such as pima cotton, raisins, and wine grapes, among others – were excluded from the first CFAP, even though these crops were equally hard hit by the pandemic. Since then, Congressman Costa has continued to press the Administration for their inclusion in relief funding, most recently by reminding Under Secretary for Farm Programs and Conservation Bill Northey of the ongoing issues specialty crop producers have had in accessing these programs.
Producers can apply for assistance beginning Sept. 21, 2020. Applications will be accepted through Dec. 11, 2020. Additional information and application forms can be found at farmers.gov/cfap.