All Sheep Now Included in CFAP Funding

August 12, 2020

This week the USDA announced additional commodities that will now be included in the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) in response to public comments and data.

A big win for the U.S. sheep industry was the inclusion of all sheep. Previously, only lambs and yearlings (sheep less than two years old) were eligible.

The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) pushed for USDA to cover more than just the lambs and yearlings that were included in the initial CFAP announcement, and continues conversations with Congress and the Trump Administration about other avenues of support for the American sheep industry.

Russell Nemetz talked with ASI Executive Director Peter Orwick about the addition of all sheep and the opportunity for assistance to help keep sheep operations afloat during these tough times.

"The USDA announced that running aged ewes-those in in the breeding herd two years and older-have been deemed eligible for fCFAP" said Orwick." So, the folks that have already applied will get to add that back into their into their application. For those that hadn't got around to it yet, they'll get to certify their entire inventory of sheep for the CFAP payment. That's $7 per head. For any of those running age ewes that were sold last winter in that January through April period, that rate will be $24 per head. I can easily see this being 2 million plus head of sheep at $7. That puts another $14 million to the total, which to date is running right around $33 million paid out to the sheep industry."

Orwick says the U.S. sheep industry is very grateful that the USDA recognized the need for CFAP funding.

"There's just there's so much of the wool that just isn't moving" said Orwick. "So, there's no revenue on that on that front. If it is moving, it's at a 30 to 40 percent discount to what we've been running at with record prices last two years. We also have a lot of producers in the Intermountain West and Northern Plains with their spring lambs. They're viewing their marketing options with just a little over a month to two months out before they are shipped. I think they're paying more attention to the to the lamb market. So, every every one of these dollars helps with these people working with their bankers."

In addition to adding more eligible commodities for CFAP like all sheep, the USDA also extended the sign-up deadline for CFAP from August 28 to September 11.

For more information, contact your local FSA office or visit 

Source: Montana Ag Network and Western Ag Network