USDA to Provide Additional Direct Assistance to Farmers and Ranchers Impacted by the Coronavirus.
RITZVILLE, WA, September 22, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced a second round of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) payments that extends eligibility to all classes of wheat. In the first round of CFAP, only hard red spring and durum wheat qualified for payments. The $14 billion package will provide payments for commodities that saw at least a 5 percent price decline in a specific timeframe. Wheat futures prices dropped more than twelve percent in the first seven months of 2020.
“We are extremely pleased that USDA recognized that all classes of wheat have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus,” said Ryan Poe, president of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers and a wheat grower from Hartline, Wash. “WAWG and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) have worked tirelessly to demonstrate that the parameters used by USDA in the first round of relief fell far short in identifying the marketing losses experienced by all classes of wheat. We appreciate that USDA listened to our feedback, and we will continue to work with NAWG to make sure that our growers have the support they need.”
About 80 percent of the wheat grown in Eastern Washington is soft white wheat. The other 20 percent is mostly hard red winter and hard red spring. This round of CFAP payments comes out to an effective payment rate for all classes of $.39 per bushel. Sign-ups will run from Sept. 21 through Dec. 11, 2020.
Additional information and application forms can be found at farmers.gov/cfap.
“These payments will bring some much-needed certainty to wheat growers as they turn their attention to getting next year’s crop in the ground,” said Michelle Hennings, executive director of WAWG. “In addition to depressed prices and rising input costs, many of our producers are struggling with the effects of drought, wildfire, and the effects of Coronavirus. We want to recognize the work done by NAWG and by members of Congress to highlight the need of all wheat farmers to be included in CFAP. The bipartisan actions of Senator Cantwell, Senator Murray, Congressman Newhouse, Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers, and Congresswoman Schrier to recognize the market losses our producers have endured are greatly appreciated.”
About WAWG: Education and outreach are the heart of Washington Association of Wheat Growers activity, all of which is aimed at helping Washington wheat families. Since 1954, WAWG has been dedicated to the enrichment of the Washington wheat industry as a nonprofit trade association, which depends on volunteers, membership dues, and donations to carry out activities as representatives on the state and national levels. WAWG monitors state, transportation, research, and natural resources policy and partners with the National Association of Wheat Growers to monitor national farm policy. Visit wawg.org for more information.
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