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Posted 05/22/2020

Member Alert

Member Update: May 22, 2020



The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) is continuing to work on issues related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and other topics.


Following is an update:


Coronavirus Food Assistance Program signup begins Tuesday

Signup for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) will be open on Tuesday, May 26. Farm Service Agency staff at local U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Service Centers will work with producers to file applications. Producers are advised to call ahead to get an appointment and further instructions.


For details about what you can do now to prepare for signup, click here. A short video that explains how to apply can be found here.


Here are the details about the CFAP:

Eligible livestock

CFAP assistance is available to livestock producers who have an ownership interest in eligible livestock that have suffered a 5 percent or greater price decline as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and face additional significant costs in marketing their inventories due to unexpected surplus and disrupted markets.


Livestock eligible for CFAP include cattle, hogs and sheep. Specifically, eligible livestock are:

  • Hogs
    • Pigs (< 120 lbs.)
    • Hogs (> 120 lbs.)
  • Cattle
    • Feeder Cattle (<600 lbs.)
    • Feeder Cattle (> 600 lbs.)
    • Slaughter Cattle: Fed Cattle
    • Slaughter Cattle: Mature Cattle
    • All Other Cattle (not including livestock used, or intended for, dairy production).
  • Sheep
    • Lambs and yearlings (less than 2 years of age)


CFAP payments for livestock

A single payment for livestock will be calculated using the sum of the producer’s number of livestock sold between Jan. 15, 2020, and April 15, 2020, multiplied by the payment rates per head, and the highest inventory number of livestock between April 16, 2020, and May 14, 2020, multiplied by the payment rate per head.


Producers must provide the following information for CFAP:

  • Total sales of eligible livestock, by species and class, between Jan. 15, 2020, to April 15, 2020, of owned inventory as of Jan. 15, 2020, including any offspring from that inventory; and

The following table lists eligible livestock and payment rates for CFAP:



Eligible Livestock

Unit of Measure

CARES Act Part 1 Payment Rate

CCC Part 2 Payment Rate


Feeder Cattle: Less than 600 Pounds





Feeder Cattle: 600 Pounds or More





Slaughter Cattle: Fed Cattle





Slaughter Cattle: Mature Cattle





All Other Cattle




Hogs and Pigs

Pigs: Less than 120 Pounds





Hogs: 120 Pounds or More




Lambs and Yearlings

All Sheep Less than 2 Years Old





Adjusted Gross Income limits

To participate, a person or legal entity’s Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) cannot exceed $900,000 (using the average for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 tax years). However, the AGI limit does not apply if 75 percent or more of an eligible person’s or legal entity’s AGI comes from farming, ranching or forestry-related activities.


Available funding

USDA has indicated that, to ensure the availability of funding throughout the application period, producers will receive 80 percent of their maximum total payment upon approval of the application. The remaining portion of the payment, not to exceed the payment limit, will be paid at a later date as funds remain available.


Payment caps

There is a payment limitation of $250,000 per person or entity for all commodities combined. Applicants who are corporations, limited liability companies or limited partnerships may qualify for up to three payment limits if at least three members of the entity each provide at least 400 hours of active personal labor or active personal management for the farming operation.


More CFAP details

For general CFAP information, click here. For livestock-related CFAP information, click here. For a list of Frequently Asked Questions, click here.


CFAP reaction

NDSA President Dan Rorvig issued the following statement this week following the CFAP release: “COVID-19 has delivered a gut punch to farm and ranch families across North Dakota and the nation, sending markets in a nosedive and creating unprecedented challenges and uncertainty. Leading economists estimate a $14-billion-and-growing economic impact to the cattle industry alone. North Dakota ranchers appreciate the support of Congress and the Administration through the CFAP, which is a first step in delivering much-needed relief to the folks who put food on the world’s table. There is obviously still much work to do to address the needs of North Dakota’s cow-calf producers, stockers and feeders, and we stand ready to work with decision-makers to provide additional resources to those who are not sufficiently addressed under the current program.”


The NDSA has been in regular contact with the Congressional delegation and national industry leaders about the program’s limitations and is already working on federal legislation to supplement payments for animals that fall in the “after April 15th category,” as one example. The NDSA will be sharing its concerns and ideas with Congressional leaders in a virtual meeting again next week.


Baby calves count

One common question the NDSA has received about the CFAP program is on the eligible weights for the “Feeder Cattle: Less than 600 Pounds” category. The answer: there is no “floor” for weight, so new calves are eligible.


Documents needed to submit with your CFAP application

According to USDA, to complete the CFAP application, producers will need sales, inventory and other records. However, since CFAP is a self-certification program, this documentation will not need to be submitted with the application. Because applicants are subject to spot checks and will be required to provide documentation, producers should retain the documentation used to complete the application. If a producer willfully makes and represents as true any verbal or written declaration, certification, statement or verification that the producer knows or believes not to be true in the course of either applying for or participating in CFAP, or both, the producer can be subject to prosecution under federal criminal and civil fraud statutes.


“Intersection of the Cattle and Beef Industries” series continues

Cattle producers, consumers and decision-makers can learn more about current issues in the cattle and beef industries through a webinar series that North Dakota State University (NDSU) Extension is co-hosting with Texas A&M Agrilife Extension and West Virginia University. The next webinar in the “Intersection of the Cattle and Beef Industries” series will be held May 26 at 7 p.m. CT.


The remaining webinar schedule is as follows:

• May 26: In-depth perspective of the beef checkoff

• May 28: In-depth perspective of how cattle are priced: a discussion about price and value discovery and the futures market

• June 2: Virtual packing plant tour

• June 4: In-depth perspective of ground beef, heavy carcasses and imports

• June 9: In-depth perspective of domestic and international supply and demand

• June 11: Historical overview of the beef industry from “The Jungle” to today

• June 16: In-depth perspective of changes in how beef is supplied to grocery stores and restaurants

• June 18: In-depth perspective of the steer and heifer complex

• June 23: In-depth perspective of cow and bull complex

• June 25: In-depth perspective of drop credit, hide and offal


Registration is required to participate in the webinars. You can register here.


Mental health resources

The coronavirus situation and a culmination of other factors have made this a stressful time for many farm and ranch families across North Dakota. Know that you are not alone. If you need someone to talk to, call a friend or a neighbor, our office or 211, a statewide 24-hour crisis intervention, health and human services information and referral line.