Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain, D.V.M., said the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Aug. 11 that additional commodities are covered by the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) in response to public comments and data.
The USDA is also extending the deadline to apply for the program to Sept. 11, 2020.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit this spring right at the peak of crawfish season, crawfish producers felt the impact immediately,” Strain said.
“Since CFAP was first announced in May, we have been working with the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation, the LSU AgCenter and our congressional delegation to add crawfish to CFAP eligibility. After significant research and data collection which was supplied to Washington, crawfish is now eligible for direct payments under the CFAP. I commend USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue for acting quickly to include crawfish in CFAP direct payment eligibility,” Strain said.
The program is administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA).
USDA collected comments and supporting data for consideration of additional commodities through June 22, 2020. The following additional commodities are now eligible for CFAP:
· Specialty Crops – aloe leaves, bananas, batatas, bok choy, carambola (star fruit), cherimoya, chervil (french parsley), citron, curry leaves, daikon, dates, dill, donqua (winter melon), dragon fruit (red pitaya), endive, escarole, filberts, frisee, horseradish, kohlrabi, kumquats, leeks, mamey sapote, maple sap (for maple syrup), mesculin mix, microgreens, nectarines, parsley, persimmons, plantains, pomegranates, pummelos, pumpkins, rutabagas, shallots, tangelos, turnips/celeriac, turmeric, upland/winter cress, water cress, yautia/malanga, and yuca/cassava.
· Non-Specialty Crops and Livestock – liquid eggs, frozen eggs and all sheep. Only lambs and yearlings (sheep less than two years old) were previously eligible.
· Aquaculture – catfish, crawfish, largemouth bass and carp sold live as foodfish, hybrid striped bass, red drum, salmon, sturgeon, tilapia, trout, ornamental/tropical fish, and recreational sportfish.
· Nursery Crops and Flowers – nursery crops and cut flowers.
CFAP was first announced on May 19, 2020 to provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to America’s farmers and ranchers who suffered losses during the coronavirus pandemic.
Additional details can be found in the Federal Register in the Notice of Funding Availability and Final Rule Correction and at www.farmers.gov/cfap.