Farmers, Start Preparing: USDA to Begin Accepting Applications for Coronavirus Relief Payments on May 26

The USDA will begin accepting applications for direct payments to farmers Tuesday, May 26. These payments originate from the USDA Coronavirus Relief Fund Program (CFAP) that aims to reimburse farmers who have lost revenue from price declines or market disruptions.


The USDA expanded eligible producer groups to the categories listed below. Additionally, the USDA seeks comment from ineligible producers “who believe they’ve suffered a five percent-or-greater price decline between January and April 2020, and who face additional marketing costs due to COVID-19,” especially regarding nursery products, aquaculture products, and cut flowers.

Eligible categories include:

  • Non-specialty Crops: malting barley, canola, corn, upland cotton, millet, oats, soybeans, sorghum, sunflowers, durum wheat, and hard red spring wheat
  • Wool
  • Livestock: cattle, hogs, and sheep (lambs and yearlings only)
  • Dairy
  • Specialty Crops
    • Fruits: apples, avocados, blueberries, cantaloupe, grapefruit, kiwifruit, lemons, oranges, papaya, peaches, pears, raspberries, strawberries, tangerines, tomatoes, watermelons
    • Vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, dry onions, green onions, peppers, potatoes, rhubarb, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, taro
    • Nuts: almonds, pecans, walnuts
    • Other: beans, mushrooms


To “sign up” on Tuesday, producers will begin by navigating to this link and either (1) downloading and completing the posted PDF or (2) downloading and completing the posted Excel workbook payment calculator. The table below summarizes required reporting information. To finalize, producers will print, sign, and electronically submit their application to their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office.

Category Amounts
Dairy Pounds produced by month in January, February, and March of this year
Non-specialty crops and wool Production in 2019 and production remaining unsold as of January 15, 2020
Livestock Animals sold between January 15 and April 15, 2020, and animals remaining unsold between April 16 and May 14, 2020
Aquaculture/Nursery Value of sales between January 15 and April 15, 2020, and value of inventory as of April 15, 2020
Specialty crops Volume sold between January 15 and April 15, 2020; volume shipped but not sold between January 15 and April 15, 2020; and acres with production not shipped or sold between January 15 and April 15, 2020

Additionally, producers who have not worked with FSA before will need to complete several forms, which are available at the USDA’s website.

If you have questions about the USDA’s Coronavirus Relief Fund Program, please contact Jamey Lowdermilk.

Brooks Pierce is dedicated to keeping our clients fully informed during the COVID-19 crisis. For more information, please visit our COVID-19 Response Resources page.

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