Oklahoma producers had the opportunity to join Dr. Bart Fischer, Co-Director of the Agricultural & Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University and Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics, along with Dr. Amy Hagerman, Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University April 30 to receive further updates regarding assistance programs available to producers and the impact of COVID-19 on an array of agricultural commodities.
Highlights from the update included a breakdown of what the Direct Assistance for Agriculture within the CARES Act means for producers.
- Provides $9.5 billion “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus by providing support for agricultural producers impacted by coronavirus, including producers of specialty crops, producers that supply local food systems, including farmers markets, restaurants, and school, and livestock producers, including dairy producers.”
- Replenished the existing borrowing authority ($30 billion) of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) by $14 billion relative to the June 2020 audit report.
Also discussed during the call was the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, announced by President Trump April 17, 2020, which will provide $19 billion in aid to producers.
- $16 billion in direct support to farmers and ranchers
- $3 billion in commodity purchases and distribution
In regards to the $16 billion in direct support, the United States Department of Agriculture is expected to cover:
- 85% of the loss on products marketed from January 1 to April 15 (for those commodities that experienced a 5% price decrease)
- 30% of expected losses after April 15 (timeframe still unclear)
- Payment limits are expected to be $125,000 per crop and $250,000 per individual or legal entity
- The rule is expected to go before OMB for review, more details will become available after the review