USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers: Reopening of CFAP2, Additional CFAP1 payments and more

Article from Chris Zoller at The Ohio Ag Manager:

Full details can be found at:


Pandemic Assistance for Producers

Intended to reach a broader representation of producers than previous COVID-19 aid programs.  The program will place a greater emphasis on small and socially disadvantaged producers, specialty crop and organic producers, timber harvesting, as well as support for the food supply chain and producers of renewable fuels.

The USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers program administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) includes four parts.  Details below were provided in a news release from USDA.

1. USDA will re-open sign-up for of CFAP 2 for at least 60 days beginning on April 5, 2021.

  • FSA has committed at least $2.5 million to establish partnerships and direct outreach efforts intended to improve outreach for CFAP 2 and will cooperate with grassroots organizations with strong connections to socially disadvantaged communities to ensure they are informed and aware of the application process.


2. Additional Payments From CFAP1: Many may have already received these payments.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, enacted December 2020 requires FSA to make certain payments to producers according to a mandated formula. USDA is now expediting these provisions because there is no discretion involved in interpreting such directives, they are self-enacting.

  • An increase in CFAP 1 payment rates for cattle. Cattle producers with approved CFAP 1 applications will automatically receive these payments beginning in April. Information on the additional payment rates for cattle can be found on Eligible producers do not need to submit new applications, since payments are based on previously approved CFAP 1 applications. USDA estimates additional payments of more than $1.1 billion to more than 410,000 producers, according to the mandated formula.
  • Additional CFAP assistance of $20 per acre for producers of eligible crops identified as CFAP 2 flat-rate or price-trigger crops beginning in April. This includes alfalfa, corn, cotton, hemp, peanuts, rice, sorghum, soybeans, sugar beets and wheat, among other crops. FSA will automatically issue payments to eligible price trigger and flat-rate crop producers based on the eligible acres included on their CFAP 2 applications. Eligible producers do not need to submit a new CFAP 2 application. For a list of all eligible row-crops, visit USDA estimates additional payments of more than $4.5 billion to more than 560,000 producers, according to the mandated formula.
  • USDA will finalize routine decisions and minor formula adjustments on applications and begin processing payments for certain applications filed as part of the CFAP Additional Assistance program in the following categories:
    • Applications filed for pullets and turfgrass sod;
    • A formula correction for row-crop producer applications to allow producers with a non-Actual Production History (APH) insurance policy to use 100% of the 2019 Agriculture Risk Coverage-County Option (ARC-CO) benchmark yield in the calculation;
    • Sales commodity applications revised to include insurance indemnities, Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program payments, and Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus payments, as required by statute; and
    • Additional payments for swine producers and contract growers under CFAP Additional Assistance remain on hold and are likely to require modifications to the regulation as part of the broader evaluation and future assistance; however, FSA will continue to accept applications from interested producers.

Part 3. USDA will dedicate at least $6 billion to develop a number of new programs or modify existing proposals using discretionary funding from the Consolidated Appropriations Act and other coronavirus funding that went unspent by the previous administration. Where rulemaking is required, it will commence this spring. These efforts will include assistance for:

  • Dairy farmers through the Dairy Donation Program or other means:
  • Euthanized livestock and poultry;
  • Biofuels;
  • Specialty crops, beginning farmers, local, urban and organic farms;
  • Costs for organic certification or to continue or add conservation activities
  • Other possible expansion and corrections to CFAP that were not part of today’s announcement such as to support dairy or other livestock producers;
  • Timber harvesting and hauling;
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other protective measures for food and farm workers and specialty crop and seafood producers, processors and distributors;
  • Improving the resilience of the food supply chain, including assistance to meat and poultry operations to facilitate interstate shipment;
  • Developing infrastructure to support donation and distribution of perishable commodities, including food donation and distribution through farm-to-school, restaurants or other community organizations; and
  • Reducing food waste.

Part 4:USDA expects to begin investing approximately $500 million in expedited assistance through several existing programs this spring, with most by April 30. This new assistance includes:

  • $100 million in additional funding for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), which enhances the competitiveness of fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops.
  • $75 million in additional funding for the Farmers Opportunities Training and Outreach program, administered by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement, which encourages and assists socially disadvantaged, veteran, and beginning farmers and ranchers in the ownership and operation of farms and ranches.
  • $100 million in additional funding for the Local Agricultural Marketing Program, administered by the AMS and Rural Development, which supports the development, coordination and expansion of direct producer-to-consumer marketing, local and regional food markets and enterprises and value-added agricultural products.
  • $75 million in additional funding for the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program, administered by the NIFA, which provides funding opportunities to conduct and evaluate projects providing incentives to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by low-income consumers
  • $20 million for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to improve and maintain animal disease prevention and response capacity, including the National Animal Health Laboratory Network.
  • $20 million for the Agricultural Research Service to work collaboratively with Texas A&M on the critical intersection between responsive agriculture, food production, and human nutrition and health.
  • $28 million for NIFA to provide grants to state departments of agriculture to expand or sustain existing farm stress assistance programs.
  • Approximately $80 million in additional payments to domestic users of upland and extra-long staple cotton based on a formula set in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 that USDA plans to deliver through the Economic Adjustment Assistance for Textile Mills program.


Spring Planting for Pollinators

Spring is here and in full swing! If you plan on making additions to your yard or garden, check out these factsheets for plants that are pollinator friendly!

1.Trees for Bees:















2. Attracting Pollinators to the Garden:

Key Plants for Pollinators

Early-blooming maples provide an important pollen and nectar source for bees in early spring.

While literally hundreds of garden plants provide important sources of nectar and pollen for pollinators, try these garden-worthy additions:

  • Trees: maple, crabapple, linden, serviceberry
  • Shrubs: ninebark, pussy willow, sumac, viburnum
  • Perennials: aster, hyssop, milkweed, purple coneflower
  • Annuals: cosmos, marigold, sunflower, zinnia
  • Herbs: basil, borage, catmint, lavender, oregano
















3. Ohio State Bee Lab- Numerous Resources for attracting pollinators:

Periodical Cicadas are Poised to Emerge

View the recent article about the emergence of periodical cicadas by Joe Boggs. Full article can be found at

“It’s important to keep in mind that periodical cicadas co-evolved with their hardwood hosts.  They are not tree-killers.  Their damage to established trees is minimal.  Indeed, their focus on the tips of branches and twigs translates into a form of natural pruning.”

Brown County Fairbook Cover Contest

The Brown County Fairboard is seeking amateur artists to design the cover of the 2021 Fairbook with the theme “Blue Jeans and Country Dreams.”

The competition is open to any amateur artist in Brown County, and winners will be selected for a junior category for participants under 18, and the winning adult competitor will represent the cover of this year’s fair book. A Junior contestant’s work may also be chosen for the cover if the judges decide it tops the adult competitors.

Any Brown County resident interested in participating in the competition must follow these guidelines:

  1. Artwork is preferred to be in color
  2. Must be on 8 1./2 x 11 white paper
  3. Must be in portrait form. not landscape.
  4. Must include the theme of the 2021 Fair:  “Blue Jeans and Country Dreams”
  5. All entries are due in the fair office by May 15, 2021.
  6. Name, address, and phone number, and age if entering the junior competition, must be written on the back of the drawing.
  7. Any amateur artist in Brown County is eligible to enter (No professional artists, please).
  8. All entries become the property of the Brown County Agricultural Society.

A $50 award will be given to the winner of each category, and the directors of the Brown County Agricultural Society will select the winning entries. For questions or additional information about the competition, contact Christy Lucas at


Forage Focus: Tips for Spring Grazing

From: Ohio Beef Cattle Letter

In this episode of Forage Focus, Host- Christine Gelley- Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources in Noble County and OSU Extension’s Beef Cattle Field Specialist- Garth Ruff met in the pasture at the Eastern Agricultural Research Station to offer tips for spring grazing. In March and April, pasture green-up is an exciting sight, but it does present some challenges for managing both the animals and the forages. Garth and Christine discuss how to know when to turn animals out on fresh grass, the risks of grass tetany, the benefits of high-mg mineral, fly control, renovating winter feeding sites, soil fertility, timely fertilization (or not) and more!

Farm Office Live

Join the OSU Extension Farm Office team for Farm Office Live, where we discuss the latest information helpful to running the farm office–including agricultural, tax, financial and other farm management law and policy issues.

Register at

April dates:

  • April 9, 2021 from 10:00-11:30 a.m. (live repeat of April 7 topics)

April topics include:

  • USDA Pandemic Assistance Program
  • Socially Disadvantaged Farm Issues
  • Paycheck Protection Update
  • Legislative Update
  • Employee Retention Credits
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan
  • Ohio Farm Business Analysis- A look at crops
  • Your Questions

2021 Cow-Calf Outlook Review

by: Garth Ruff, Beef Cattle Field Specialist

For beef producers in Ohio and across the U.S., 2020 was no walk in the park for several reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic. On January, 26 2021 the OSU Beef Team hosted a Cow-Calf Outlook program featuring Dr. Kenny Burdine, Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist from the University of Kentucky.

In this presentation Dr. Burdine highlights reviews the impacts of COVID on the beef cattle industry, some management considerations for beef producers looking to add value to feeder cattle, touches on rising feed prices, and looks at the feeder cattle markets in the coming year.

For the full presentation

We’ve also pulled some short clips showing the value of increased management. One management consideration is to shorten and control the breeding season to increase marketing power via increasing uniformity and group size.

Another management toll that will increase the value of calves is to castrate bull calves and market steers, as selling steer calves will be rewarded in the marketplace.


Pesticide License Exam Being Offered in Brown County

Are you needing to become a private or commercial pesticide/fertilizer applicator?

The Ohio Department of Agriculture will be offering 2 exam sessions on April 14, 2021. The first session will begin at 9:00AM and the second session will being at 1:00PM. The exam site will be at the Brown County Fairgrounds in Rhonemus Hall, located at 325 W. State St., Georgetown, OH 45121.

This is the only Brown County date on schedule due to staffing shortage at the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA). Exam locations will be offered in Clermont, Greene, and other surrounding areas throughout the year. Those dates can be found on ODA’s website

Space for the Brown County Exam site will be extremely limited and only 9 participants will be allowed at each session. To reserve a seat contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture at 614-728-6987. Press 1 for Licensing and Recertification.

  • Pesticide categories
  1. Commercial:
  2. Private:
  • What to study:

OSU Agronomy Team’s Youtube Page

Find recordings from webinars that were offered this winter including our soil heath webinar series. This series covered 8 topics such as:

1.Does Soil Health Pay?

2.Can Improving Soil Health Improve Yield

3.Cover Crop Management

4.Compaction Solutions

5.Programs and Funding to Support Soil Health


This page features several other videos related to soybeans, corn, forages, crops growth stages and much more!

Find all videos here: