Updated COVID-19 Aid Package to Help Poultry, Pork, Fruit and Vegetable Farmers
As with many programs launched under President Donald Trump, the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) came under intense scrutiny when the Biden administration took over in January 2021.
COVID-19, which provided money to agricultural producers to fill the shortfalls caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, was frozen shortly after President Joe Biden to take place. While Biden’s USDA reviewed the wording of this aid package, some producers, namely contract farmers in poultry and pork, are awaiting the results.
Following a letter sent by Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN), the USDA announced this week that it has updated the Funding under COVID 2. New funding, up to approximately $ 1 billion, will be made available through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, a COVID-19 assistance program. So what’s in it?
According to DTN Progressive Farmer, the new money will be available to contracted poultry, egg and hog producers, and it will cover lost income for most of the 2020 calendar year. Farmers will be able to choose their 2018 or 2019 income for compare; presumably, they will choose the year that has had the most success. The funding they receive will be 80 percent of the difference between their income in 2020 and 2018 or 2019. There will also be some assistance, although it is not clear what exactly, for farmers who have started their farming operations. operations in 2020 and that doesn’t have previous years to compare.
This flexibility of choosing the year will also be extended to growers of “specialty” crops, which in USDA’s odd language refer to actual food crops: fruits, vegetables and nuts. Corn growers have received by far the most important aid under COFOG.
The change was applauded by representatives of the high-livestock states, as well as by the American Federation of Agricultural Offices, a lobby group focused on agribusiness. Revised and new requests must be submitted by October 12.