Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today held a virtual roundtable with North Dakota agriculture producers, commodity groups and Farm Service Agency (FSA) officials, including Deputy Administrator for Farm Programs Bill Beam, to discuss efforts to:
·Ensure the $14 billion in Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and remaining Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) funding are used as effectively as possible.
·Secure additional assistance for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
·Provide early haying and grazing of cover crops for counties with significant prevented plant aces.
Hoeven is working closely with the administration, including speaking on multiple occasions with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey, to advance these priorities. Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Hoeven secured direct funding for CFAP and the $14 billion CCC replenishment, which was made available in July.
“These discussions with local producers are important in ensuring the administration uses the CCC and CFAP funding we’ve provided in the most effective way possible,” said Hoeven. “These funds are a needed support for farmers and ranchers as we continue working to advance the next phase of the legislative response to this public health emergency. I appreciate Deputy Administrator Beam for speaking directly to North Dakota producers today, and I look forward to continuing these shared efforts to help producers through these difficult times.”
Hoeven recently announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin releasing the remaining 20 percent of payments to producers with approved CFAP applications. USDA also extended the CFAP application deadline until September 11, 2020, and expanded eligibility to include additional commodities, including all sheep.
Additional Ag Assistance
Hoeven also secured $20 billion in agriculture assistance in the Senate’s Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act and is working with Senate leadership to ensure this funding is included as negotiations continue on the next legislative response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Early Haying & Grazing
In addition, Hoeven worked with USDA to move up the date for the haying and grazing of cover crops to September 1, which applies to 23 counties in North Dakota with a significant number of prevented plant acres. Hoeven recently met with Secretary Perdue on the issue and outlined the importance of providing producers with this flexibility.