Washington, D.C. (September 18, 2020) – Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a second round of coronavirus relief payments which extends eligibility to additional classes of wheat. The new $14 billion package now covers producers of all classes of wheat. These add to the durum and hard red spring (HRS) wheat classes which were covered under the first round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).
“NAWG thanks Secretary Perdue and his staff for taking our feedback these past several months and expresses great appreciation for making producers of all classes of wheat eligible for CFAP payments,” said NAWG President and Cass City, MI, wheat grower Dave Milligan. “This relief comes at a much-needed time when producers are being hit with depressed prices resulting in part from the effects of COVID-19. Futures prices have dropped more than 12% since beginning of 2020 until early August.”
Originally, the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) provided important assistance for only hard red spring and durum wheat farmers, which counted for 30 percent of 2019 production. Now, all of America’s wheat farmers, who qualify, are eligible to receive assistance through CFAP on 2020 production. Throughout the summer NAWG has met with senior USDA officials and sent letters requesting expansion of the program, and earlier this month 21 U.S. Senators and 26 Members of Congress also sent letters requesting this assistance.
“Through NAWG’s efforts and support from Congressional Members of wheat producing states, the organization was able to demonstrate the need for this change and make it happen for its members,” continued Milligan. “NAWG applauds USDA’s work on CFAP and will continue to work with the Agency throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure all wheat farmers in need of support have access to it.”