Oklahoma Farm Bureau says relief money won’t cover losses

Oklahoma Farm Bureau says relief money won't cover losses-5/28/20

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (TNN) -The Agriculture industry is finally getting some financial relief from the government.

However, it isn’t helping Oklahoma farmers the way they’d hoped.

The good news is, the US Department of Agriculture announced $16 billion would be given to America’s farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Those whose operations suffered a five-percent-or-greater price decline due to COVID-19, are eligible for the financial help.

For cattle producers, the payments given depend on if a rancher sold cattle from January 15 to April 15th, and April 16 to May 14th.

“They might get $130 up to $200 depending on the class of cattle per cow if they were before April 15th marketing, where they’re getting like $33 a cow for after April 15th.”

For Oklahomans, the ranchers affected by the pandemic the most, sold their cattle after April 15th, when the price of cattle had dropped close to 30 percent.

“So many of our people graze on wheat,” said Rodd Moesel, Oklahoma Farm Bureau President “And so many of them still had wheat pasture. So they hadn’t marketed yet, because they were able to take advantage of the wheat pasture they had. So they tend to market after they’re done with that wheat pasture. The market price dropped even further after that April 15th.”

Another round of federal relief payments could be coming in July.

Moesel is hoping the Oklahoma Farm Bureau can convince legislators to use that money to increase payments for all producers who sold their commodities after April 15th.

The Oklahoma Farm Bureau is encouraging farmers and ranchers to reach out to their local Farm Service Agency office to apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.

For more information on CFAP, visit farmers/gov/cfap.

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