… Industry leaders say they appreciate what Congress and USDA have done to help producers with government payments. They hope Congress will act on another package where pork producers are included…
COVID-19 Continues to Bring Anxiety But Hope for New Aid
by Betsy Jibben, AgWeb
Jul 23, 2020
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the department is looking at options for future coronavirus relief for producers.
According to Farm Journal Washington Correspondent Jim Wiesemeyer, Perdue says USDA is in the process of evaluating the COVID-19 impacts on the agricultural economy and looking at the “lessons learned so far” as another round of CFAP may be considered.
This comes during a time when lawmakers are furiously trying to pass another economic stimulus package, before August recess.
The pork industry is not shying away from telling producers that they need help. One economist says U.S. hog producers face nearly $5 billion in losses due to COVID-19.
“I’ve been around the pork industry virtually all my life,” says Steve Meyer, an economist with Kerns & Associates. “I’m not terribly young anymore but in the 30 years that I’ve been involved as an analyst, this is by far the largest economic hit I’ve ever seen this industry take. We had a terrible hit in 1998 and we had another one in 2009 but nothing compares to this.
Industry leaders say they appreciate what Congress and USDA have done to help producers with government payments. They hope Congress will act on another package where pork producers are included.
“No question, it’s helping,” says Nick Giordano, vice president of global government affairs with the National Pork Producers Council. “This is by far the worst economic crisis ever. We are going to lose hog farmers. The question is how many?”
Other industries are awaiting the Senate’s plan and what potential aid may look like, as well...
... the troubles of trade, weather and COVID-19 are showing up at the bank. The Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank released its quarterly Ag Finance Databook. It reports farm lending slowed because of the initial effects of the pandemic.
COVID-19 created a more pessimistic outlook for ag economic conditions. It says the volume of total non-real estate farm loans continued into a yearlong trend of declines during the second quarter, down about 13% from last year.
The report says delinquency rates on farm real estate loans increased about 17% through the first quarter and ag credit conditions remained weak.
Researchers say the paycheck protection will help supplement financing needs of some farmers while payments from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program may have helped offset declines in farm revenues this year.
While those payments may have helped out, many farmers are still concerned what impact the virus will continue to have on their bottom lines...