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Billions Available For Farmers Seeking COVID Assistance

ATTRA Sustainable-Ag Hotline Helps Farmers Navigate ‘CFAP2’ Application


December 2, 2020 | View PDF

Specialists from the ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture program of the National Center for Appropriate Technology are available to help farmers and ranchers apply for assistance through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) 2.

The CFAP2 program has almost $14 billion available to help almost every form of agriculture business impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. More crops and agriculture operations are eligible under CFAP2 than under the first CFAP program earlier this year.

Farmers and ranchers can apply directly at or by contacting their local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Office. The application deadline is Dec. 11, and those interested in applying are encouraged to do so as soon as possible.

Farmers and ranchers interested in getting help applying for CFAP2 can contact the staff at ATTRA’s free hotline at 800-346-9140 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. CT or at [email protected] ATTRA also has an online chat system at 

In addition, a downloadable Excel workbook can calculate a farmer or rancher’s total relief payment and generate part of the application paperwork. The workbook can be accessed at or by calling a local USDA FSA Office. ATTRA Specialists can also help farmers and ranchers through the workbook.

Compared to the first CFAP program, CFAP2 offers a new category of relief payments for producers of sales commodities, which includes hundreds of specialty crops, aquaculture, nursery crops, floriculture items, and other commodities not included in the price trigger and flat-rate payment categories.

Relief payments for this wide category of goods are roughly 10% of the value of a producer’s 2019 sales. For example, a farm with 2019 gross sales revenue of $125,000 could receive a relief payment of slightly more than $12,500. 

Terrapin Farm, Whitefish, MT, produces more than 500 varieties of vegetables, fruits, and herbs. A farm with such highly diverse crops can simply report total sales revenue from 2019 as the basis of relief payment without having to list each product.

“I tried to access CFAP1, and it was just too burdensome to have to list each crop separately, particularly when the payment was so small for each crop,” said Judy Owsowitz, Terrapin Farm owner and founder.

For CFAP2, a producer only has to document the total sales of eligible crops in 2019.

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) has been helping people build resilient communities through local and sustainable solutions that reduce poverty, strengthen self-reliance, and protect natural resources since 1976. NCAT developed and manages the ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture program in a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development program. The ATTRA project maintains a library of publications, videos, tutorials, podcasts and other resources on all topics related to sustainable agriculture and NCAT has agriculture specialists around the country working directly with growers of all scales.


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