Censky says payments are slowing but need for covid-19 relief is still out there

The distribution of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program payments are slowing and USDA Deputy Secretary Steve Censky says the department is urging producers to sign up by the August 28 deadline.

We are looking at that to see what the reasons are – so far $6.8 billion have been paid out,” he says. “I know anecdotally I’ve talked to producers who are now just beginning to sign up and fill out their form so hopefully folks will get that in.”

The previous coronavirus relief package included $14 billion to replenish USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation and Censky says USDA is looking at the best ways to provide aid to farmers.

“We’re taking a look to see how we change the formulas to try to increase the producers revenue there and we want to try to help producers as much as possible,” he says.

There’s not a deal yet on another round of coronavirus relief, but Censky says the USDA is supportive of more aid.

“We certainly believe the need is out there whether you’re a livestock producer or a dairy producer or a row crop farmer, or a specialty crop producer,” he says.

Censky spoke to media at the American Soybean Association 100th anniversary event in Camden, Indiana.

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