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Watermelons are among the commodities now eligible for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stability Act funding for sales losses.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — USDA announced this week that additional commodities are covered by the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program in response to public comments and data. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is extending the deadline to apply for the program to Sept. 11, and producers whose applications have been approved will receive their final payments. The extended program will give even more farmers and ranchers the opportunity for assistance to help keep operations afloat during these tough times.

The following additional commodities are now eligible for CFAP:

Specialty Crops — aloe leaves, bananas, batatas, bok choy, carambola (star fruit), cherimoya, chervil (french parsley), citron, curry leaves, daikon, dates, dill, donqua (winter melon), dragon fruit (red pitaya), endive, escarole, filberts, frisee, horseradish, kohlrabi, kumquats, leeks, mamey sapote, maple sap (for maple syrup), mesculin mix, microgreens, nectarines, parsley, persimmons, plantains, pomegranates, pummelos, pumpkins, rutabagas, shallots, tangelos, turnips/celeriac, turmeric, upland/winter cress, water cress, yautia/malanga and yuca/cassava

Non-Specialty Crops and Livestock — liquid eggs, frozen eggs and all sheep (only lambs and yearlings were previously eligible)

Aquaculture — catfish, crawfish, largemouth bass and carp sold live as foodfish, hybrid striped bass, red drum, salmon, sturgeon, tilapia, trout, ornamental/tropical fish and recreational sportfish

Nursery Crops and Flowers — nursery crops and cut flowers

Several commodities — green onions, pistachios, peppermint, spearmint, walnuts and watermelons — are now eligible for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stability Act funding for sales losses. Originally, these commodities were eligible for payments on marketing adjustments only. Also, payment rates for these commodities have been corrected.

Additional details can be found in the Federal Register in the Notice of Funding Availability and Final Rule Correction and at www.farmers.gov/cfap.

To ensure availability of funding, producers with approved applications initially received 80% of their payments. The Farm Service Agency will automatically issue the remaining 20% of the calculated payment to eligible producers. Going forward, producers who apply for CFAP will receive 100% of their total payment, not to exceed the payment limit, when their applications are approved.

Producers, especially those who have not worked with FSA previously, are recommended to call 877-508-8364 to begin the application process. An FSA staff member can help producers start their application during the phone call. Eligibility forms can be downloaded from www.farmers.gov/cfap. For existing FSA customers, these documents are likely already on file.

For more information, contact your local FSA office. Due to recent public health concerns, Union County FSA is open for phone and email appointments only.

Call 541-963-4178, ext. 2, for any assistance you may require.

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