NCGA reports Secretary Perdue said in an interview yesterday that he only has $6 billion in CCC authority to spend on COVID relief until the $14 billion replenishment arrives “later,” in addition to the $9.5 billion Congress added in the separate account for USDA provide assistance to livestock, dairy and specialty crops. Senator Hoeven, Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee said in response to the Secretary’s comments that “the language included in the CARES Act allows an additional reimbursement of $14 billion earlier in the year to enable USDA to spend up to $44 billion in the CCC during FY20,” and the “replenishment will be provided based on the June 2020 report on CCC activities and will come after June 30, 2020.” Without the replenishment CCC spending would have been limited to $30 billion for FY20.
On a call with his constituents, Chairman Collin Peterson pointed out the challenges that are ahead for USDA as they work on standing up a comprehensive package to aid agriculture. The Chairman pointed out the requests from individual industries adds up far beyond what USDA has available. In just a short period of time the dairy industry asked for $6 billion, the cattle industry has asked for $6 billion, the pork industry asked for $2 billion, the ethanol industry and specialty crop producers also have multi-billion dollar asks into the Department. Local and regional direct-sale producers have asked for roughly $1 billion in aid as well. Here is a link to his remarks: https://www.dtnpf.com/agriculture/web/ag/news/world-policy/article/2020/04/09/industry-requests-support-overwhelm?referrer=twitter#.Xo8qqzl90OU.twitter
Hopefully the agricultural economy will rebound sooner than later. It’s tough facing the 2020 season with prices as they are and markets floundering based on uncertainty. I encourage everyone to stay in front of the growth curves of all your crops with your best management practices for your yield goal so that you reduce plant stress giving you the best chance to harvest your best yields by the end of the season.