Cattle industry debates need for federal stimulus for producers


Cattle industry debates need for federal stimulus for producers

Do cattle producers need a financial stimulus—an MFP-type direct payment—to help them through the current financial crisis?

That question is being discussed in the cattle industry and in Congress.

Ethan Lane, vice president of government affairs with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, was asked about it Wednesday during a conference call with ag reporters.

“That’s not something that we have asked for to date. That’s not something in our members’ policy book,” Lane said. “But, at this point, obviously we’re exploring any option that is helpful to our producers on the ground.”

Lane talked about their concerns with such a program.

“Where we’re already dealing with live cattle prices that are challenging, we don’t want to create a situation where folks are rushing to sell cattle on that market in order to trigger a payment—and inadvertently drive their price even lower.”

On Thursday morning, the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, an NCBA state affiliate, asked Iowa’s congressional delegation and U.S. ag secretary Sonny Perdue for a stimulus package to assist cattle producers.

Earlier this week, another cattle organization, the United States Cattlemen’s Association, asked the USDA to consider an MFP-type program for cattle producers, citing the “unique market disruption” caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

AUDIO: Excerpts from Ethan Lane’s comments on direct payments to cattle producers

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