When the second round of CFAP funding was announced, many northwest producers were relieved, including wheat growers. Michelle Hennings, Executive Director of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers, said the industry was very disappointed if the first round of CFAP assistance which limited which varieties would be covered. But under CFAP2, all varieties of wheat are covered, assistance which she says is desperately needed. Hennings said not only is the wheat industry dealing with COVID-19 and the ongoing pandemic, but current prices are very low.
“I think some farmers are taking those federal loans and we’re seeing a lot of people have to sell at a low price to pay back their loans at the bank and its pretty rough right now. I do have to say we did have a pretty decent crop which helps the situation, but our price, we really need to get that up.”
Hennings added there is a lot of wheat on the open market right now, forcing those prices lower. She noted 2020 has been a very trying time for many in the farming community, and she’s confident there are some Washington wheat farms that won’t survive this turmoil.
“Getting the CFAP money and some extra assistance will help and hopefully we don’t see too much of that. But, it has been stressful. The price of wheat has really been a burden on the wheat growers so, we’re doing what we can but we definitely need to see our market change.”
Hennings added she’s an optimist and is already looking forward to 2021, and is hopeful things will return to some kind of normal soon.
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