Hoeven: USDA Releases Final Details for Direct Assistance to Farmers and Ranchers, Sign-Up to Start May 26
Senator Secured $23.5 Billion for Ag Producers in CARES ACT
WASHINGTON - Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, today issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the final details for implementing the $16 billion in direct assistance under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). Hoeven spoke with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue this morning to discuss the program’s specifics.
Sign-up for the CFAP’s direct assistance program is expected to begin May 26, and USDA hopes to have payments out beginning in early to mid-June. Producers initially will receive 80 percent of their payment, with the remaining 20 percent being issued later in the year. Payment limits will be set at $250,000 per individual. USDA is providing additional information, including eligible crops, at: www.farmers.gov/cfap.
This follows the senator’s efforts to advance the assistance for farmers and ranchers as quickly as possible and ensure that it works for producers, including discussions he hosted with North Dakota producers to gather input. Hoeven also stressed on multiple occasions, with Perdue, Stephen Censky, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, and Greg Ibach, Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, the need to move the program forward for producers impacted by low commodity prices, like cattle producers.
“This assistance is a good start, providing $16 billion in direct payments to help our producers weather the range of challenges they face, including the impacts of COVID-19,” said Hoeven. “While the $14 billion in CCC funding that we secured will be available starting in July, we will need additional assistance for producers before the end of the fiscal year. As we work to advance this priority, we encourage all producers in need of assistance to apply when the online signup becomes available later this month.”
Specifically, the CFAP provides:
- $16 billion in direct payments for farmers and ranchers, funded using the $9.5 billion emergency program Senator Hoeven secured in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and $6.5 billion in CCC funding.
- $3 billion in purchases of agriculture products, including meat, dairy and produce to support producers and provide food to those in need. USDA will work with local food and regional distributors to deliver food to food banks, as well as community and faith-based organizations to provide food to those in need.
As chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, Hoeven secured nearly $25 billion in agriculture assistance under the CARES Act. The CFAP is made available using $9.5 billion in emergency funding in the CARES Act, as well as USDA’s existing CCC funding. Hoeven also secured a $14 billion replenishment of CCC, which will be available in July to assist farmers and ranchers under the CARES Act.
During negotiations on the CARES Act, Hoeven worked to ensure support for farm country, including leading a Senate colloquy to outline the importance of the provisions after the original legislation was blocked from advancing. Hoeven also worked with the American Farm Bureau to organize a letter of support from agriculture groups across rural America.
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