The Farm Service Agency at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin accepting new and modified applications for the second installment of the coronavirus food assistance program (CFAP2) on April 5.
The pandemic affected all of agriculture, but many farmers did not benefit from previous rounds of pandemic-related assistance.
CFAP2 originally ran from September 21 through December 11, 2020, but the USDA has decided to reopen it and added $6.5 billion of funding to develop new programs and modify existing ones.See Also: COVID-19 Updates
Olive growers and olive oil producers are eligible for the funding and applications can be completed through the farmers’ local USDA county office. No cut-off date for the applications has yet been announced, but the USDA said the program will remain open for at least 60 days.
Payments to olive farmers and olive oil producers will be based on self-certified sales for 2019 in a declining block format, with the maximum payment to any farmers or company remaining at $250,000.
The payment gradation for table olives and olive oil are as follows:
2019 Sales Range
$0 to $49,999
$50,000 to $99,000
$100,000 to $499,999
$500,000 to $999,999
Over $1 million
As a practical example, if an olive oil producer earned $75,000 in sales during the 2019 calendar year, their payment would be $7,775. The producer would receive $5,300 for sales up to $49,999 and $2,475 for the rest of the sales from $50,000 to $75,000.
Along with direct payments to farmers, the USDA will also provide funding for personal protective equipment for farmworkers, cover some costs for organic certification, develop infrastructure to promote the donation of perishable foods and help reduce food waste, among various other initiatives.
“The pandemic affected all of agriculture, but many farmers did not benefit from previous rounds of pandemic-related assistance,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.
“Our new USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative will help get financial assistance to a broader set of producers, including to socially disadvantaged communities, small and medium-sized producers, and farmers and producers of less traditional crops,” he added.