Tallahassee, Fla. — Today, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) are reminding Florida agricultural producers of upcoming deadlines for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) assistance programs. December 11 is the deadline for the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program and the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) and December 31 is the deadline for the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), while the deadline for the Seafood Trade Relief Program (STRP) has been extended to January 15, 2021.
“With COVID-19 causing unprecedented challenges for Florida’s agricultural producers, including up to $522 million in losses earlier this year, these USDA programs ensure farmers receive the support needed to continue feeding our state and the nation,” shared Commissioner Fried. “I’m encouraging all producers whose businesses have been impacted by the pandemic and have not yet applied to learn more about the programs available and apply before the program deadline.”
The following are USDA program details and upcoming deadlines:
December 11, 2020: Dairy Margin Coverage
Serving as a safety net for America’s dairy producers, the dairy margin coverage program offers financial protection from market volatility. Payments are possible if the margin between the all-milk price and the average feed cost falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. To help determine the amount of coverage that’s right for your operation, use the online dairy margin coverage decision tool.
December 11, 2020: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2
If you’re a farmer or rancher whose operation has taken a hit due to the pandemic, then this program is for you. Use the USDA commodities finder tool to see if what you grow or raise will qualify. Remember, even if you participated in the first iteration of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 1), you are not automatically enrolled in CFAP 2.
For existing FSA customers, including those who participated in CFAP 1, many documents are likely already on file. Producers should check with FSA county office to see if any of the forms need to be updated. Customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP 2 application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance. This is a recommended first step before a producer engages with the team at the FSA county office.
December 31, 2020: Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program
The Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) provides financial assistance to producers of noninsurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory, or prevented planting occur due to natural disasters. NOTE: This deadline is only for honey and maple sap.
January 15, 2021: Seafood Trade Relief Program
America’s commercial fisherman have faced several challenges this year as well, like tariffs. If you’re a commercial fisherman producing Atka mackerel, Dungeness crab, king crab, snow crab, Southern Tanner crab, flounder, geoduck, goosefish, herring, lobster, Pacific cod, Pacific Ocean perch, pollock, sablefish, salmon, sole, squid, tuna or turbot, you’re eligible for this program. Experts at your local Service Center are available to assist you with your application. The Farm Service Agency has extended the application deadline from December 14, 2020 to January 15, 2021.
Application Assistance: All Florida agriculture producers interested in applying should contact their local USDA Service Center today. All USDA Service Centers are open for business, and Service Center staff members from USDA’s Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service will continue to work with producers by phone, email, and digital tools like Microsoft Teams, Box, and OneSpan.