Wheat growers push for including all classes of wheat in CFAP
The National Association of Wheat Growers is pushing for all wheat growers to be eligible to benefit from the administration’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. The program’s $16 billion in direct payments to farmers includes producers of durum and hard red spring wheat. Other classes, including hard red winter, soft red winter, and white wheat are not included. The omission means most wheat growers won’t qualify for CFAP payments despite being impacted, said Dave Milligan, president of NAWG. May wheat futures contracts at all three exchanges saw substantial price drops and partial recovery from January through April, according to Milligan, a wheat grower from Cass City, Michigan.
“USDA’s methodology behind CFAP neglects to incorporate price drops during the January to April timeframe when wheat farmers were marketing their crop or that local cash prices that farmers were receiving were less than futures prices in many areas of the country,” said Milligan. “As a result, most wheat growers won’t qualify for CFAP despite being impacted.”
The Coronavirus Pandemic has a negative impact on the wheat market and all wheat growers should be eligible for the relief payments, he said.
“It is clear that all wheat producers experienced substantial price losses during the designated timeframe and should be eligible for assistance under CFAP” said Milligan. “Wheat farmers continue to produce a high-quality crop but disruption in the supply chain, as a result of COVID-19, has negatively affected wheat farmers. The Coronavirus Pandemic is already impacting the wheat market and prices continue to drop even before the implementation of CFAP.”
CFAP provides assistance to producers who have seen a minimum 5 percent price decline, or who had losses from market supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.