White House, USDA Announce Details of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

(WASHINGTON) – On Tuesday, President Donald J. Trump announced details of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). The announcement detailed the distribution of up to $16 billion in direct payments to producers experiencing COVID-19 related losses. Full program details are below. Sign-up will begin May 26th and run until August 28th.

President Trump also said that the U.S. should “terminate” trade deals that require the importation of cattle from other countries.

"I read yesterday where we take some cattle in from other countries, we have trade deals. I think you should look at terminating those deals," the President said. "We have a lot of cattle in this country." In April 2020, USCA sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting the prioritization of U.S. beef and cattle as the nation experiences the impacts of ripe feedyards and decreased slaughtering capacity.

United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) President Brooke Miller issued the following statement:

“With the weight of the global pandemic putting economic pressure on family farmers and ranchers, we welcome the relief provided through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program announced today. USCA’s Marketing and Competition Committee is reviewing the details released this morning and will provide our members with additional details and clarification on the process soon.

“Further, we greatly appreciate the President's comments on the need to stem the influx of imported cattle into this country. Our nation’s strength lies in our ability to produce a safe, abundant, and affordable food supply. We need to preserve this food security by creating opportunities for U.S. agricultural producers to thrive.”

                More information can be found at https://www.farmers.gov/cfap.  

 A single payment for livestock will be calculated using the sum of the producer’s number of livestock sold between January 15 and April 15, 2020, multiplied by the payment rates per head, and the highest inventory number of livestock between April 16 and May 14, 2020, multiplied by the payment rate per head.

 Producers must provide the following information for CFAP:

•             Total sales of eligible livestock, by species and class, between January 15, 2020, to April 15, 2020, of owned inventory as of January 15, 2020, including any offspring from that inventory; and

•             highest inventory of eligible livestock, by species and class, between April 16, 2020, and May 14, 2020.

The following table lists eligible livestock and payment rates for CFAP.