U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) issued the following statement after U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue announced plans to increase limits on the size of COVID-19 relief payments for agricultural producers:
“The payment plans outlined in USDA’s assistance program, as originally written, are insufficient in addressing the economic pain caused by COVID-19. Thank you Secretary Perdue for listening to our concerns and taking a step in the right direction. I look forward to reviewing the details.”
This announcement follows a letter sent by Senator Cramer and a bipartisan group of his colleagues to President Trump urging his Administration to eliminate payment limits for livestock, dairy, and specialty crop producers in the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).
“The COVID-19 crisis has caused unprecedented damage to the livestock, dairy and specialty crop industries,” the senators wrote. “As is true for many other small businesses across the country, this financial harm comes through no fault of these farmers and ranchers, nor is it the result of typical market forces. As such, these relief payments should aim to indemnify as much loss as possible without restrictive payment limitations.”