The Biden administration issued a regulatory freeze to review federal programs, including the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2.1 for farmers and ranchers. American Farm Bureau Federation Economist Michael Nepveux says, however, farmers can and should sign up for the program now.

Michael Nepveux encourages farmers to sign up now and says, "Yes, they can, and we highly encourage them to do so. There’s been some conversation around potentially the program being canceled, that is not the case, it’s just a temporary freeze. This is pretty common when you get a new administration coming in and once they get all their people in place we highly expect the program to be moving forward. So, with this, we still encourage farmers to apply, they are still accepting applications, they just aren’t processing payments at this point."

The latest round of assistance was expanded to include contract growers.  Many producers were left out of the CARES Act and original CFAP programs because farmers who raise animals under a contract for another entity that owns those animals could not participate. In this recent announcement, USDA clarified that contract producers of broilers, turkeys, chicken eggs, laying hens and hogs, who suffered a drop in revenue in 2020 due to the pandemic are now eligible for assistance.

The deadline to apply is approaching quickly. Newly eligible producers who need to submit a CFAP application, or producers who need to modify an existing one, have to do so by February 26. They can do that at their local USDA service center, or they can find additional information at USDA’s CFAP website: