By Andrew Sandeen
Since receiving and processing 24,111 applications, $9.92 billion has been paid to farms through the first iteration of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), a federal assistance program administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency and intended to assist farms negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Except in a couple of other states, the application period closed on September 11th.
In Pennsylvania, we have seen a total of $167.70 million dollars paid to 7,535 applicants, more than $104 million of which was for milk and based on production between January and March of 2020. Payments for livestock, which might include some animals from dairy farms, have totaled $33.03 million. For non-specialty crops (e.g. corn, soybeans) $22.18 million has been paid.
Interestingly, nearly two thirds of payments in Pennsylvania were for milk, while milk only accounted for 17.5% of total CFAP payments nationwide. Pennsylvania ranked fifth of all the states for total dairy payments.
In this wild ride of a year, federal assistance programs have certainly provided some positive benefits for agricultural operations in Pennsylvania. Remember that these payments should be included as government payment income for 2020 tax planning, and watch for any additional assistance programs which may still be coming.Source : psu.edu