President Donald Trump, speaking at a campaign rally Thursday night in Wisconsin, announced that the administration would distribute about $13 billion in additional payments under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, starting next week.
USDA on Friday released the rules for the new round of CFAP payments. Commodities that will be eligible for CFAP-2 payments include wine grapes, goats, bison, mohair, tobacco, hemp, mink and three classes of wheat: soft red winter, hard red winter, and white.
"Starting next week my administration is committing an additional — you've been asking for this for a long time — $13 billion in relief to help farmers recover" from the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump said at the airport rally.
He said the CFAP-2 payment recipients would include Wisconsin's "incredible dairy, cranberry and ginseng farmers who got hurt" by the pandemic.
The department is funding the payments from its Commodity Credit Corp. with $14 billion that was authorized by Congress under the CARES Act, enacted in late March. USDA has so far distributed $9.9 billion under the first round of CFAP, well short of the $16 billion that was originally budgeted.
“Federal dairy assistance has been critically needed as the nation’s dairy farmers face economic uncertainty and markets that remain anything but normal,” said National Milk Producers Federation President and CEO Jim Mulhern. “We look forward to learning more of the plan’s details to better understand how this will help producers who have been dealing with COVID-19 disruptions, challenges compounded in recent days by natural disasters.”
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., also welcomed the announcement. “I have heard directly from our farmers and ranchers about the harsh conditions in farm country. I will continue to advocate for certainty and predictability for agricultural producers, especially during these challenging and unprecedented times," he said.
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