Last week, the USDA announced the addition of several commodities to Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. The USDA also hinted that additional commodities may be added to the CFAP list in the coming weeks.
Currently, durum and hard red spring wheat classes are covered under CFAP while hard red winter, soft red winter, and soft white wheat classes are not currently covered. On Friday, the National Association of Wheat Growers sent a letter to the USDA calling on the Agency to make assistance available for all classes of wheat, and with wheat harvest well underway nationally, NAWG is asking for assistance to start immediately.
“CFAP provides important assistance to producers of hard red spring (HRS) and durum wheat, two classes which comprise about 30% of 2019 wheat production,” stated NAWG President Dave Milligan. “The program continues to leave out over 70% from other classes of wheat despite farmers facing historically low prices.”
“If USDA is going to continue evaluating price impacts by comparing a pre-COVID timeframe to another timeframe, we urge you to look at cash price changes as well, as farmers are generally faced with lower prices locally than the price on futures markets and the futures markets do not reflect the adverse price impacts being felt directly by wheat farmers.”
“While we appreciate the USDA quickly getting CFAP off the ground and the inclusion of certain classes of wheat, all wheat farmers have been impacted by depressed prices while marketing their 2019 crop earlier this year and now with marketing this year’s crop as it’s being harvested,” continued Milligan. “NAWG will continue to advocate that any future aid program, including CFAP, should provide assistance to farmers of all classes of wheat.”
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