Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says additional commodities, including beets, lettuce and peas, have been added to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), and producers will be able to submit applications that include these commodities beginning on Monday, July 13. However, peaches, a major South Carolina crop, have been discontinued from the program.
The CFAP was designed the program to help offset price declines and additional marketing costs brought on by COVID-19. The agency also expects additional eligible commodities to be added to the list in the weeks ahead. “When we announced this program, we asked for public input and received a good response,” Perdue said. “After reviewing comments and analyzing our USDA Market News data, we are adding new commodities, as well as making updates to the program for existing eligible commodities.”
A few of the additional commodities eligible for CFAP include beets, blackberries, lettuce, green peas, pineapple, fresh sugarcane, as well as others. The changes also include expanded funding options for already-eligible commodities like apples, blueberries, garlic, potatoes, and raspberries. USDA found that these commodities had a five percent-or-greater price decline between mid-January and mid-April because of COVID-19.
Originally, these commodities were only eligible for marketing adjustments. They also say peaches and rhubarb no longer qualify for payment under the CARES Act sales-loss category.