Over the next week, Montana Farm Service Agency is running two webinars covering the details of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) for Montana producers. The first one is today, in just a couple of hours. Those webinars are linked farther down this page, but first, here’s some information to get you started on program basics.
What is CFAP? CFAP stands for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). Agricultural producers can now apply for CFAP, which provides direct payments to offset impacts from the coronavirus pandemic. Montana commodities covered include livestock, durum wheat, hard red spring wheat, malting barley, canola, wool, among others.
Deadline to sign up for CFAP: August 28, 2020.
How to get started? Call your local FSA office. You can find them here.
General info: farmers.gov/CFAP. This website also has a host of FAQs, lists of forms, a payment calculator, and other resources.
Still have questions? Well, I do too. Some details of the program are still being worked out. Specialty crops, including hard-hit commodities like potatoes, are having difficulty fitting into the program. There are also, perhaps unsurprisingly, questions about the political economy of where subsidies land. (See this NYT article, which includes discussion of former AgEconMT writer Joe Janzen’s work on the Market Facilitation Program).
Available webinars will answer some of those questions, at least the ones about how these programs will work.
Montana FSA CFAP webinars:
Monday, June 8, 3:00 p.m: Click HERE to join June 8th 3 p.m. Montana Webinar
Monday, June 15, 9:00 a.m: Click HERE to join June 15th 9 a.m. Montana Webinar
Lastly, if you’re looking for something already recorded and available, Purdue University Extension put out a webinar/podcast that gives an overview of the program. Parts of that webinar I found especially interesting were at:
14:00: The concept of “subject to price risk”, which determines program eligibility
22:00: Why these (in some cases, pretty specific) commodities are covered and not others
32:15: Types and definitions of eligible livestock
42:30: Livestock payment rates