NCBA seeks more assistance for cattle producers


NCBA seeks more assistance for cattle producers

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association sent a letter thanking congressional leaders for COVID-19 relief efforts and outlining assistance needed to help cattle producers recover.  

Ethan Lane, vice president of government affairs, says NCBA is asking that cattle assistance payments through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program be improved or tailored to provide more support to those hurt by the pandemic.  

“We’re working with congressional leaders on trying to add some resources to that program and either beef up the part two payments or add more in for that part one piece to be moved forward into the second fiscal quarter,” he says.

He says NCBA is also seeking flexibility on use of Conservation Reserve Program ground.

“So that producers have access to more grass while we’re working through this backlog of cattle that’s been in the system during this crisis- we still have maybe as much as 800,000 to one million head of cattle backlogged,” he says.

Lane says NCBA supports establishing a Fed Cattle Set-Aside Pilot Program which could alleviate pressure on processors.

“When you have a precipitous drop in packing capacity like we saw after the Holcomb, Kansas fire or during this crisis, where there’s a need to make sure we keep these fed cattle on a maintenance ration and a holding pattern while they work through the backlog,” he says.

The letter was signed by NCBA and state affiliate organizations. The groups say the recommendations are not intended to “serve as an exhaustive list” but a representative of the cattle industry’s most critical priorities.

Audio: Ethan Lane

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