Hoeven Statement After USDA Announces Additional COVID-19 Assistance for Agriculture

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management, and Trade, released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced additional COVID-19 assistance utilizing the $13 billion in agriculture funding Hoeven secured in the year-end funding package.  

“Over the past several years, we’ve worked to secure strong funding to help our farmers and ranchers weather unprecedented challenges including unfair retaliatory trade practices, natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic. That includes the $13 billion in agriculture we secured as part of COVID relief in late December. We made the case to Secretary Vilsack to provide this assistance as quickly as possible, and we appreciate USDA working to get relief to our producers.”

As the chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee over the past three years, Senator Hoeven has secured more than $60 billion in agriculture assistance to help farmers and ranchers. That includes $23.5 billion in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and $13 billion in the year-end spending package, for agriculture assistance. Last week, Hoeven urged U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to quickly distribute the assistance included in the year-end funding bill, including payments for row crops and cattle.

USDA will automatically distribute these payments over the coming weeks and producers do not need to sign up or complete an additional application for these payments.  

Row Crop Payments

The year-end funding legislation included assistance for row crop payments. Crops under the price trigger and flat-rate categories from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) 2 will receive a payment of $20 per acre. Eligible crops include: alfalfa, amaranth grain, barley, buckwheat, canola, corn, crambe (colewort), einkorn, emmer, flax, guar, hemp, kenaf, khorasan, millet, mustard, oats, rapeseed, rye, safflower, sesame, sorghum, soybeans, speltz, sugar beets, , sunflowers, teff, triticale, all classes of wheat, and others. 

Cattle Top-up Payments

Payment rates vary depending on class of cattle and are designed to help producers who sold into a depressed market after the April 15 deadline used in the original CFAP program. This assistance was included as part of the year-end funding legislation, approved in late December. 

Producers should visit farmers.gov for more information.