RALEIGH — Agricultural producers in North Carolina can now apply for USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) through an online portal, expanding the options available to producers to apply for this program, which helps offset price declines and additional marketing costs because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is also leveraging commercial document storage and e-signature solutions to enable producers to work with local Service Center staff to complete their applications from home. FSA is accepting applications now through August 28, 2020.

Producers can access the new CFAP Application Portal at farmers.gov/cfap, which outlines all options for signing and submitting CFAP applications to meet the business needs of individual producers. Producers can also find an application generator and payment calculator to help identify sales and inventory records needed to apply and calculate potential payments.

“CFAP provides timely financial support to eligible agricultural producers impacted by COVID-19,” said Eddie Woodhouse, State Executive Director for FSA in North Carolina, in the statement. “I encourage North Carolina farmers to apply immediately through one of the simple processes outlined on farmers.gov.”

Through the portal, producers with secure USDA login credentials—known as eAuthentication—can certify eligible commodities online, digitally sign applications and submit directly to the local USDA Service Center. Producers who do not have an eAuthentication account can learn more and begin the enrollment process at farmers.gov/sign-in. Currently, the digital application is only available to sole proprietors or single-member business entities.

USDA Service Centers can also work with producers to complete and securely transmit digitally signed applications through two commercially available tools: Box and OneSpan. Producers who are interested in digitally signing their applications should notify their local USDA Service Centers when calling to discuss the CFAP application process.

Learn more about these solutions at farmers.gov/mydocs.

Producers in search of one-on-one support with the CFAP application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance. This is a good first step before a producer engages the team at the FSA county office at their local USDA Service Center.

Webinars, Educational Resources for N.C. Producers

North Carolina’s state FSA office is offering commodity-specific webinars on CFAP. The next webinar, covering non-specialty crops, specialty crops, and livestock, is scheduled for July 22, at 1:30 pm. A second webinar for dairy and wool producers will be held in early July. Learn more and register under State Events on the state’s website, fsa.usda.gov/state-offices/North-Carolina.

Visit farmers.gov/cfap for access to recordings of national FSA webinars for specialty crop producers, non-specialty crop producers, dairy producers and livestock producers. Webinars also cover FSA programs with producer flexibilities during COVID-19 and a review of targeted funding for beginning and other underserved farmers and ranchers in other programs.

To find the latest information on CFAP, visit farmers.gov/cfap or call 877-508-8364.

All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including some that are open to visitors to conduct business in person by appointment only. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment.

Service Centers that are open for appointments will pre-screen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors may also be required to wear a face covering during their appointment. Field work will continue with appropriate social distancing.

More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.