As of Oct. 6, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has paid out an additional nearly $2 billion in government payments as part of its second tranche of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2).
While speaking at an event in Pennsylvania on Friday, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said USDA is getting aggressive in filling the applications, which began on Sept. 21 and run through December. “Checks are out the door,” Perdue said.
As reported on the farmers.gov/CFAP payment dashboard, as of Oct. 6, acreage-based payments consisted of $1.1 billion, or 56.39% of the total payments so far. Dairy producers have received $203.94 million and livestock producers $543.72 million. Egg/broilers have received $2.77 million.
Per commodity breakdown, corn producers have received 35% of the payments so far, at nearly $700 million, followed by cattle at 21%, soybeans at 13% and hogs/pigs at 6%. By commodity, the payouts so far included $687.3 million for corn, $414 million for cattle, $254.9 million for soybeans, $203.9 million for milk and $120.4 million for hogs/pigs.
In a recent "Market Intel" report, American Farm Bureau Federation economists Michael Nepveux and Veronica Nigh pointed out that most of the payments are concentrated in Midwestern states, with six states – Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Indiana – accounting for just over half of the payments. The next most are to Plains states that tend to be heavy in livestock production: South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
Nigh and Nepveux also found that dairy has the highest payment per application so far, followed by sales commodities. “This makes sense, as sales commodities include specialty crops, which tend to be higher value and produced by a smaller number of producers,” they wrote.
“Keep in mind, we have only had about two weeks since the application period opened, and as more producers have their applications processed, we will see total payments grow, potentially increasing payments in other states,” Nigh and Nepveux wrote.
CFAP 2 payments are broken into three categories: price trigger commodities, flat-rate commodities and sales commodities.
Perdue said, “I invite anyone who feels like they have an application that's qualified under CFAP 2 to come on to our [Farm Service Agency] offices. If they like to look at our farmers.gov website and get some idea if they qualify, then that's a good first step to see if they actually qualify."
Payments under the first CFAP program reached $10.2 billion as of Oct. 4 -- still far short of the $16 billion budgeted. It is doubtful that spending for the first round of CFAP will increase much beyond the current tally.
Chris Torres, editor of the American Agriculturalist, contributed to this report.