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Oyster Growers Now Eligible for Aid

Aquaculture producers directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic are now eligible for relief through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

President Trump and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced Friday the $14 billion Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2, or CFAP 2. USDA will accept CFAP 2 applications from Sept. 21 to Dec. 11. Application forms can be found at farmers.gov/cfap.

When the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, or CFAP, was launched in April, aquaculture farmers were not eligible for the $19 billion relief program for farmers and ranchers.

“We listened to feedback received from farmers, ranchers and agricultural organizations about the impact of the pandemic on our nations’ farms and ranches, and we developed a program to better meet the needs of those impacted,” said Perdue in a statement.

Eligible aquaculture for CFAP 2 includes any species of aquatic organisms grown as food for human consumption, fish raised as feed for fish that are consumed by humans, and ornamental fish propagated and reared in an aquatic medium.

Eligible aquaculture species must be raised by a commercial operator and in water in a controlled environment. This includes molluscan shellfish and seaweed that was previously covered under the U.S. Department of Commerce program.

Documentation to support the producer’s application and certification may be requested. All other eligibility forms, such as those related to adjusted gross income and payment information, can be downloaded from farmers.gov/cfap/apply.

Customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP 2 application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance. This is a recommended first step before a producer engages with the team at the FSA county office.

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.