Want to take advantage of the aid available to floriculture growers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2), but don’t know where to start? Martin Meskers, AAF, CEO of Oregon Flowers in Aurora, Oregon, told growers during SAF’s “Accessing USDA Aid” webinar on Oct. 20 to start with their local FSA office and form a relationship with local staff.
“They are there to help you through the process, and they speak a grower’s language,” said Meskers, a former SAF president.
SAF’s Senior Lobbyist Joe Bischoff noted that FSA staff are evaluated on their ability to assist growers in getting aid. “You are their constituents,” he said.
Bischoff offered the following tips on the application process:
- Go to: https://www.farmers.gov/cfap/apply
- Work with your local USDA-FAS office
- Gather the following information via these forms:
- Form to identify members of a farm (CCC-901)
- Provide average adjusted gross income (CCC-941)
- Certifying average AGI and Farm AGI (CCC-942)
- If applicable, this certification reports income from farming, ranching, or forestry-related activities for those exceeding the adjusted gross income limitation (CCC-942)
- Ensures compliance with highly erodible land conservation and wetland conservation (AD-1026)
- Basic customer contact information (AD-2047)
- Banking information to payments via direct deposit (SF-3881)
The funding approach for CFAP 2 differs significantly from CFAP 1. Payments for floriculture and nursery crops eligible for CFAP 2 will be equal to the amount of the producer’s eligible sales in calendar year 2019, multiplied by the payment rate for that range. (See payment table for rates). Growers who did not hit the payment cap in the first round of CFAP aid will most likely see larger payouts under this new approach. CFAP 1 and 2 mark the first time USDA has ever provided direct assistance to the floral industry, driven in large part by SAF’s advocacy work on Capitol Hill and with the USDA.
USDA will accept CFAP 2 applications through Dec. 11, 2020. To learn more or apply for aid, go to farmers.gov/cfap.
Katie Butler is the senior vice president of the Society of American Florists.