Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 Available for Aquaculture Operations

We are pleased to share this information about much needed relief for Maine's critically important aquaculture industry.

September 21, 2020 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced an expansion of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program to include eligible aquaculture producers. Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) will provide producers, including eligible aquaculture operations, with financial assistance that gives them the ability to absorb some of the increased marketing costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

CFAP 2 follows the first round of CFAP, which had an application period of May 26 through September 11. You can learn more about USDA's initial Coronavirus Food Assistance Program by visiting farmers.gov/cfap1.

Under CFAP 2, aquaculture eligible for CFAP 2 includes any species of aquatic organisms grown as food for human consumption, fish raised as feed for fish that are consumed by humans, and ornamental fish propagated and reared in an aquatic medium. Eligible aquacultural species must be raised by a commercial operator and in water in a controlled environment.

Eligibility

There is a payment limitation of $250,000 per person or entity for all commodities combined. Applicants who are corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships may qualify for additional payment limits when members actively provide personal labor or personal management for the farming operation.

Producers will also have to certify they meet the Adjusted Gross Income limitation of $900,000 unless at least 75 percent or more of their income is derived from farming, ranching or forestry-related activities.

Visit https://www.farmers.gov/cfap for more information on CFAP 2 eligibility and payment details related to aquaculture.

Assistance with Applying

Signup will begin September 21 and run through December 11, 2020. USDA Farm Service Agency Centers will work with producers by phone and use email and online tools to process CFAP 2 applications.

Please call the FSA office nearest you to schedule an appointment if youd like assistance or have questions about applying for CFAP 2. A list of FSA Centers is attached to this notice.

A call center is available for producers who would like additional one-on-one support with the CFAP 2 application process. Please call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance. The call center can provide service to non-English speaking customers. Customers will select 1 for English and 2 to speak with a Spanish speaking employee. For other languages, customers select 1 and indicate their language to the Call Center staff.

For More Information

A Frequently Asked Questions document is available at https://www.farmers.gov/cfap/faq

A CFAP 2 Producer Webinar will be held Thursday, September 24 at 3:00 PM EDT: Learn about expanded eligibility for certain commodities, new payment categories including a sales-based approach to specialty crops and other specific commodities, and information on how to apply. Register here.