USDA issues first coronavirus food assistance program payments

PIERRE, S.D. (DRG News) – The US Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency has approved more than $545 million in Coronavirus Food Assistance Program payments– and South Dakota is one of the top five states collecting the funds.

In the first six days of the application period (started May 26), Illinois, Kansas, Wisconsin, Nebraska and South Dakota sent in the most applications. Nationwide, FSA has made payments to more than 35,000 producers and received over 86,000 applications.

FSA will accept applications through August 28, 2020. Through CFAP, USDA is making available $16 billion in financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a 5% or greater price decline due to COVID-19 and face additional marketing costs as a result of lower demand, surplus production and disruptions to shipping patterns and the orderly marketing of commodities.

In order to do this, producers will receive 80% of their maximum total payment upon approval of the application. The remaining portion of the payment, not to exceed the payment limit, will be paid at a later date nationwide, as funds remain available. More information is available at

Producers can download the CFAP application and other eligibility forms from Also, on that webpage, producers can find a payment calculator to help identify sales and inventory records needed to apply and calculate potential payments. Producers self-certify their records when applying for CFAP. The documentation isn’t submitted with the application, however, producers may be asked for their documentation to support the certification of eligible commodities, so producers should keep the information used to complete their application.

New customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee. This is a recommended first step before a producer goes to their local USDA Service Center.

USDA will release further updates each Monday at 2 p.m. ET. The report can be viewed at