Sheep, goat producers eligible for CFAP2 payments (Shepherd’s Notebook)
(Editor’s note: Susan Schoenian is a sheep and goat specialist with the University of Maryland.)
It has been more than six months since COVID-19 turned our lives upside-down.
Agriculture has been particularly impacted — some farms and businesses more than others, some places more than others and some commodities more than others.
Sheep and goat producers have been affected in different ways.
Sheep producers in the West have been hardest hit, as most big lambs go into food service and wool prices have declined enough to trigger LDPs.
The government has announced a second round of CFAP payments to help farmers, including sheep and goat producers, cope with the market disruptions and other problems caused by the pandemic.
Beef cattle, swine, and sheep are categorized as “price trigger” commodities. These are commodities that have suffered a 5-percent or more national price decline during certain weeks of the pandemic.
For price-trigger commodities, there are per-head payments for the maximum-owned inventory on a date specified by the producer.
To determine payment, multiply your maximum inventory by $27, while excluding breeding stock. (They are not eligible because their value is less likely to be impacted by temporary price declines.)
If you had 100 lambs in inventory, you would be eligible to receive a payment of $2,700 (100 lambs times $27 per lamb).
Someone with only 20 lambs is still eligible for a payment of $540, so it is worth applying for.
Goats are included in the second round of CFAP payments, but they are classified as specialty livestock.
Their payments are similar to those for wool and goat milk.
All are categorized as sales commodities, and a sales-based approach is used to calculate payment eligibility.
To determine payment, multiply 2019 sales by the payment factor.
For sales under $50,000, the payment factor is 10.6 percent.
For sales more than $50,000, the payment factor declines.
Payments are for raw product sales only and do not cover the value that may have been added during processing and/or packaging.
If you sold $10,000 worth of products (goats, wool, or milk), you would be eligible to receive a payment of $1,060 ($10,000 times 10.6 percent).
A small meat goat farm that sold 30 kids for an average of $150 per head is still eligible for a payment of $477, so it is worth applying for.
CFAP payment application is through local Farm Service Agency offices.
It does not need to be in-person. The application period began on Sept. 21 and will end on Dec. 11.
Participation in other USDA programs is not a prerequisite for applying for COVID-19 payments.
If you applied for the first round of payments, you still need to apply for the second round, but you don’t need to have applied for the first round in order to get the second..
There is no cost to apply and all producers, regardless of flock/herd size are encouraged to apply.
For more information, go to farmers.gov/cfap or contact your local FSA office.
In the first round, USDA paid out more than $9.9 billion, including almost $100 million to beef, swine, and sheep producers in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and Pennsylvania.