CFAP Direct Support Webinar May 27

Join OSU Extension’s Ben Brown and Dianne Shoemaker for a webinar  on “Navigating Direct Support for Ohio’s Farmers and Ranchers” on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 9:30 am with special guest, Ohio Farm Service Agency Director Leonard Hubert.  This webinar is generously produced and distributed by Ohio Ag Net.

Go here to access the webinar.

Farm Office Live on Monday April 27

OSU Extension is pleased to be offering the third session of “Farm Office Live” session on Monday evening, April 27, 2020 from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m.  Farmers, educators, and ag industry professionals are invited to log-on for the latest updates on the issues impact our farm economy.

The session will begin with the Farm Office Team answering questions asked over the past week.  Topics to be highlighted include:

  • Update on the CARES Paycheck Protection Program
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
  • Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Update
  • Ethanol and biofuel update
  • ARC and PLC Forecasts
  • Other legal and economic issues

Plenty of time has been allotted for questions and answers from attendees. Each office session is limited to 500 people and if you miss the on-line office hours, the session recording can be accessed at farmoffice.osu.edu the following day.  Participants can pre-register or join in on Monday evening at  https://go.osu.edu/farmofficelive 

USDA Announces Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)

Source:  Ben Brown & David Marrison, OSU Extension

On April 17, the preliminary details about the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) were released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program aimed to assist farmers, ranchers, and consumers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CFAP provides $19 billion in funds authorized through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES).

The $19 billion program includes two major elements. The first element is for Direct Support to Farmers and Ranchers. This program will provide $16 billion in direct support to farmers based on actual losses where prices and market supply chains have been impacted by COVID-19. The program will also assist producers with additional adjustment and marketing costs resulting from lost demand and short-term oversupply for the 2020 marketing year caused by COVID-19.

It has been reported, although not confirmed by the USDA, that in the direct support program, $5.1 billion will be allocated to support cattle producers, $3.9 billion for row crop producers, $2.9 billion for dairy, $2.1 for specialty crops, $1.6 billion for hog producers and $500 million for other commodities.

The Chairman of the Senate Agricultural Appropriations sub-committee has indicated the direct assistance to producers will be one payment comprised of the sum of two parts. The first part is 85% of the losses incurred between January 1 and April 15, 2020 per commodity. The second part will be 30% of the loss in market prices due to COVID-19 between April and the next two quarters. Secretary Perdue has expressed that payments are intended to be made by end of May or early June. To qualify for a payment, a commodity must have declined in price by at least 5% between January and April 15, 2020. While there are several entities illustrating price declines including The Ohio State University, the price series USDA will use to determine eligibility is uncertain. Federal payment limits apply, set at $125,000 per commodity with an overall limit of $250,000 per individual or entity. USDA has indicated that CFAP may take into consideration other farm program benefits regarding payment limitations, which could limit CFAP payments in the case a producer is receiving payments in other federal safety net programs. The exact program limitations and qualifying support are unknown at the present time. The direct payment program will be administered by the Farm Service Agency.  More details will be forthcoming by the Farm Service Agency in the upcoming weeks. Access more information at: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/

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The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) of the CARES Act

In these uncertain economic times,it may be worth your time to check into this program.  It could help offset some farm labor costs.

 

Summary

The CARES Act authorized the Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses keep employees and bring back employees that have been laid off due to the COVID-19 emergency.  The program is designed to help small businesses by providing 100% guaranteed loans from the SBA.  Loan amounts can be up to 2.5 times the business’s average monthly payroll costs with a maximum of $10 million.  In addition, the loan can be forgiven if payroll is maintained and loan proceeds are used for specified expenses and an appropriate percentage is used for payroll expense.

Farmers qualify under the program as self-employed individuals and sole proprietors Farmers with a considerable amount of hired labor (payroll) should especially evaluate if they meet all the eligibility and certification requirements.  Farmers with limited or no payroll may also qualify based on their net self-employment income.  However, lenders and others are waiting for additional guidance on how farmers and other self-employed individuals are to submit their applications and what will be the rules governing the definition  of “payroll” for determining loan amounts, loan proceed uses and determining the amount of loan forgiveness.

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Farm Bill Decision Deadline Fast Approaching

Enrollment in the 2018 Farm Bill programs (PLC, ARC-CO, and ARC-IC) ends on March 16th.  If you do not enroll by this date you will default to the election you made in the previous Farm Bill and receive NO PAYMENTS for the 2019 program year.  This same election holds true for 2020.

As a reminder, PLC is a price protection/income loss option that covers declines in crop prices and the ARC-CO program is an income support option based on county-level benchmark revenues and guarantees compared to actual revenues.  For those with prevent planted acres, the ARC-IC program may be worth consideration.  ARC-IC issues payments when individual crop revenue is less than the guarantee and uses individual yields, rather than the county yields.

Once an election is made, the choice carries through for 2019 and 2020.  Annual changes can be made in 2021, 2022, and 2023 program years.  If you have already made a program election and decide you want to make a change, you may do so until March 16th.

Information about the Farm Bill program options and the OSU Farm Bill Decision Tool are available at https://aede.osu.edu/research/osu-farm-management/2018-farm-bill/arcplc-decision-aid-tools.  You may also consult your local FSA office or OSU Extension Educator for answers to your specific questions.

The Secretary of Agriculture has said there will not be an extension to the enrollment deadline.  FSA offices are very busy processing enrollments and have a great deal of work to complete in less than one month.  If you have not met with your FSA office staff to enroll in the Farm Bill program, please do so ASAP.  Remember, the deadline is March 16th.