CFAP Direct Payment Program Explained

Growers can apply to receive a CFAP direct payment beginning on May 26, 2020 through August 28, 2020.  Lemon growers will receive a payment for losses suffered as a result of COVID-19 and the disruption to the food service sector.  Grapefruit, oranges, and tangerines are eligible only if they had product that did not make it to market due to loss of a marketing channel.

Unlike other COVID-19 assistance programs, the CFAP direct payments are NOT first-come, first serve.  To ensure the availability of funding throughout the application period, producers will receive 80 percent of their approved maximum total payment. The remaining portion of the payment will be paid at a later date as funds remain available.

California Citrus Mutual is in communication with representatives from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Agriculture Marketing Service to learn the details of the program as they are released. We are working with the California FSA office to schedule a citrus specific webinar for the membership next week.  Details for this webinar will be announced as soon as they are confirmed.

Payment Details

Details about eligible specialty crop varieties, documentation requirements, and payment amounts can also be found on the USDA CFAP website here.  The USDA FAQ page is another helpful resource.

  Category 1 Category 2 Category 3
  Payments will be made for losses incurred between January 15, 2020 and April 15, 2020.
  Payment for sales losses USDA assumes that listed commodities incurred a price decline of 5% or more between 1/15 and 4/15.  Payment for product that left the farm, but was not sold due to loss of marketing channel.  Payment for product left unharvested/on-farm.
Payment Calculation Quantity sold multiplied by payment rate


Quantity shipped multiplied by payment rate


Quantity left on-farm multiplied by payment rate


Grapefruit N/A $0.11 $0.02
Lemons $.08 $0.21 $0.04
Oranges N/A $0.14 $0.03
Tangerines N/A $0.22 $0.04


Category 1 Payment – For lemons that were sold between January 15, 2020, and April 15, 2020, payment will be made for the quantity sold multiplied by the payment rate of $.08 per pound. There will be a place on the application form to indicate the number of pounds sold.  FSA’s system will automatically calculate the payment amount.  Growers should retain documentation from their packinghouse as evidence of their sale for audit purposes.

Category 3 Payment –  For all citrus varieties (grapefruit, lemons, oranges and tangerines) that did not leave the farm or mature crops that remained unharvested between January 15, 2020 and April 15, 2020 due to loss of marketing channel, payment will be made for the amount of product left on-farm multiplied by the payment amount for that variety.

The application will ask how many acres OR pounds were not harvested/left on-farm.  If you report the number of acres, USDA will use the average yield per acre to calculate the payment amount. For example, one acre of lemons is estimated to produce 36,000 lbs. If you state on your application that 2 acres of lemons were not harvested, FSA will calculate that to be 72,000 pounds.

Alternatively, a grower may choose to estimate the total amount of pounds that went unharvested.  In this example, growers should compare last year’s harvested volume during the time period versus this year’s harvested volume to come up with the calculation of what was not harvested.  Packinghouses should also provide those growers that had certified acres not harvested with a letter of those acres not harvested for the grower to report.

Producer Eligibility Requirements

  • Payment Limitations: Payments are subject to a per person/legal entity payment limitation of $250,000. Corporate entities may receive up to $750,000 based upon the number of shareholders, up to three, who provide substantial labor or management to the operation.
  • Adjusted Gross Income Eligibility: There is no AGI limit for a person or legal entity who derives 75% or more of their average AGI from farming activities. Persons or entities who derive less than 75% of their AGI from farming activities, are ineligible if their AGI for 206, 2017, and 2018 tax years is more than $900,000.

There are three steps you can do NOW to prepare to apply for a direct payment:

  1. Schedule a tele-meeting with your local FSA Service Office Request a USDA Number if you do not already have one. Once the application window is open (May 26, 2020 – August 28, 2020), applications may be submitted to your local FSA Service Center.
  2. Begin filling out the required forms. Completed forms must be submitted within 60 days of the date your application is submitted, however, payments will not be made until all necessary eligibility documentation is received.  The following forms can also be found on the USDA CFAP website.
  3. Compile your documentation. Because CFAP is a self-certification program, documentation will not need to be submitted with the application.  However, because applicants are subject to spot check and will be required to provide documentation, producers should retain the documentation used to complete the application.   Approved producers are required to retain this documentation for three years after the date of approval.

CCM will continue to share information as it becomes available.  If you have any questions, please contact CCM President Casey Creamer or Director of Government Affairs Alyssa Houtby at (559) 592-3790.

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