Nebraska FSA county offices are scheduling phone appointments with producers to complete applications for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which includes funding to provide direct support for farmers and ranchers who faced price declines and additional marketing costs due to COVID-19. The best source of information on CFAP is farmers.gov/cfap. You also may download an application for payment through this website, which contains program details by commodity and has a program payment calculator available. Farmers and ranchers are encouraged to visit the CFAP website for information prior to contacting their county FSA office. USDA also has created a call center to answer program questions. The call center can be reached toll-free at (877) 508-8364.
Nebraska FSA recently presented CFAP information during an educational webinar. To view the video, please click here.
CFAP applications will be accepted through Aug. 28, 2020.
To ensure the availability of CFAP funding throughout the application period, producers will receive 80 percent of their maximum total payment upon approval of their application. The remaining portion of the payment, not to exceed the payment limit, will be paid at a later date as funds remain available.
Individuals interested in this program are encouraged to visit the CFAP website for program details, including payment rates. Links to specific Fact Sheets for each commodity group can be found by clicking below. There have been many questions regarding contracts, and how those may influence program eligibility. View the Non-specialty crops fact sheet for details on this subject. There also have been questions regarding classification of cattle for purposes of completing the CFAP application. Go to the farmers.gov/cfap website and click on the Livestock program web page for details on this subject.
Non-specialty Crops (corn, soybeans, et cetera)
Comprehensive information on USDA's COVID-19 response, as well as information related to programs being implemented by the U.S. Small Business Administration, can be found at these resources:
As FSA works to keep customers and staff safe during the COVID-19 response effort, USDA Service Centers in Nebraska will continue to be open for business by phone appointment only, and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. While our program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with producers by phone, email, mail and fax and use other online tools whenever possible. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with FSA are required to call their Service Center to schedule a phone appointment.
Decent weather this spring has moved crop planting along across Nebraska. Please remember to complete the spring acreage reporting process laid out by your FSA county office as soon as you are done planting. You can find your county office contact information at this link: county FSA office.
For producers who haven't already completed the process, enrollment is open for the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2020 production season now through June 30, 2020. Some producers may have completed this process during the recent 2019 enrollment period.
ARC and PLC are two of the main commodity crop safety net programs of the 2018 Farm Bill. Covered commodities in Nebraska include corn, soybeans, wheat and grain sorghum, among others. ARC provides income support payments on historical base acres when actual crop revenue declines below a specified guarantee level. PLC provides income support payments on historical base acres when the price for a covered commodity falls below its effective reference price.
Producers also have an option to update their PLC yield on covered commodity base crops. This opportunity is available through Sept. 30, 2020. A tool is available to assist in determining yield updates at this link. For more information on PLC yield update, please ask your county FSA office staff.
The state of Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) has received approval of its state hemp plan. Those interested in hemp cultivation, processing, handling and brokering in the state need to secure a hemp license and can do so through NDA.
USDA agencies, including FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Risk Management Agency, each could play a part in the hemp production industry in the state. To learn how, visit farmers.gov/manage/hemp.
Farm Service Agency continues to implement programs to address the impacts of adverse weather in 2019. County FSA office staff will be able to provide individuals with the best information for their individual situations. County office contact information can be found at offices.usda.gov.
Nebraska FSA continues to implement the WHIP+ Program, which is designed to assist producers who lost certain crops, trees, bushes or vines due to natural disaster in 2018 or 2019. Please contact your county FSA office for more information about this program.
Here is a summary of some of the other assistance programs that can be implemented as part of a disaster response effort:
Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP): This program financially assists producers when they suffer loss of livestock, above normal mortality, due to adverse weather. A notice of loss must be filed with the county FSA office within 30 days of when the loss becomes apparent.
Emergency Conservation Program (ECP): ECP can provide some cost-share assistance to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters. It also can provide cost-share assistance to help restore fences damaged or lost due to natural disaster. Contact your county office about this program before taking any action to repair damages.
Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP): ELAP can provide some financial assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish when losses are tied to an eligible adverse weather event and those losses are not covered under other disaster programs. This can include, in certain situations, some financial assistance for grazing losses or hay losses due to adverse weather events such as flooding. Contact your county FSA office to learn more about this program.
There also may be options for assistance through FSA farm loan programs, including the Disaster Set-Aside Program, which allows existing FSA farm loan customers to delay a loan payment, and the Emergency Loan Program. These programs become available when a disaster designation is granted for a county.
To view disaster designations, click below:
Fact sheets that outline the various disaster programs noted above, as well as other available programs, can be found at this link by scrolling down to the Disaster Protection and Recovery section.
GovDelivery, FSA’s digital news service, distributes timely information on programs direct to your email inbox. It can help you remember important program deadlines and requirements so you can effectively utilize FSA programs in your farm or ranch operation.
In addition to the email newsletter, you also can sign up to receive information through our GovDelivery text messaging service. Text messages only are issued to remind subscribers of timely, important program deadlines or other information. No more than two texts will be sent in a month, and often, it will be less than that amount. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Click here to subscribe to either the newsletter, text messaging, or both.
There are options for Farm Service Agency loan customers experiencing financial stress. If you are a borrower who is unable to make payments on a loan, contact your local FSA Farm Loan Manager to learn about the options available to you.
Our primary mission is to help Nebraska farmers and ranchers secure financial assistance from USDA programs through accurate, timely and efficient program delivery.
Nebraska FSA is proud to continue its strong tradition of providing customer-based service to Nebraska producers. The hard-working men and women of our FSA county offices are at the forefront of our efforts and remain the primary contact for program participation. We encourage you to speak with the staff at your local office about how we can be of service. Our website can help you learn more about FSA programs and services and help you locate your local FSA Service Center.
In the event you need additional assistance that you can't get from the local level, please don't hesitate to contact me the State FSA Office at the address or phone number listed below.
Nancy Johner, Nebraska FSA State Executive Director
7131 A Street
Lincoln, NE 68510