It’s not just senators asking Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue to help wheat farmers harmed by the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, 26 House members, from both parties, sent a letter to USDA head Sonny Perdue, asking that he utilize CARERS Act funding to help growers facing substantial losses because of COVID-19.
“Wheat farmers have experienced significant economic harm resulting, in part, from COVID-19,” the letter stated. “Given the unique nature of the wheat production cycle, which entails harvest starting in May in the south and running into early fall in the northern states, 2020 production impacts should be covered by USDA’s COVID relief funds provided by Congress. Specifically, we request that you use funding provided in the CARES Act to immediately begin providing assistance for COVID-19 losses on 2020 production for all classes of wheat.”
The letter was signed by Washington representatives Dan Newhouse, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Dr. Kim Schrier, Oregon’s Greg Walden and Idaho representatives Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson.
Click Here to read the entire letter submitted last week by members of the House.
“Washington’s wheat growers proudly produce and harvest some of the most high-quality wheat in the country. As Congress continues to work to ensure a strong and stable food supply chain throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, they must work to make sure our producers – for all classes of wheat – remain as whole as possible, so our food supply does not experience disruptions now or in the future. Thank you, Congressman Newhouse, for continuing to advocate for our producers to be treated fairly throughout this pandemic,” said Michelle Hennings, Executive Director of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers.
“NAWG is grateful for Congressman Frank Lucas’s (R-OK) leadership on this important effort to ensure all wheat farmers are eligible for important assistance to offset the economic impacts of COVID-19 on commodity prices,” said National Association of Wheat Growers President Dave Milligan. “Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle and representing farmers of all classes of wheat came together on this letter demonstrating the significant price drops experienced this year and the need for 2020 losses to be covered.”
The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) provides important assistance for hard red spring and durum wheat farmers, but it does not include other classes of wheat which represent about 70% of 2019 production.
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