Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Thursday that he will release the rules for the next round of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program payments to farmers next week, just ahead of the deadline for applying for the first round.
Speaking at a farm in Radcliffe, Iowa, after touring crop damage from last month’s storms, Perdue said the payments would be designed to compensate farmers for losses incurred after April 15 through the end of the year.
He also said that CFAP-2 would be designed to address concerns among cattle producers that they weren’t compensated for post-April 15 losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The deadline for applying for the original program is Sept. 11. “Before then we’ll have the rules in for the second CFAP,” he said.
Some $9.4 billion in CFAP payments had been made as of Monday, according to USDA.
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Perdue indicated the CFAP-2 payments would go to the same commodities eligible for the first round. He confirmed there would be no payments for ethanol producers, textile mills and other processors of agricultural commodities that are seeking aid, citing pandemic-related disruptions. Perdue said USDA would need additional authority from Congress to make those kinds of payments.
Both a House-passed coronavirus relief bill and a package proposed by Senate Republicans would expand USDA aid authority to cover processors, but so far lawmakers have been unable to reach agreement with the White House on a relief bill.
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