Farmers discuss coronavirus concerns during virtual shop talk

Hoosier farmers discussed coronavirus concerns with Indiana Senator Mike Braun during a recent virtual Shop Talk by the Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Growers Association.

Farmers expressed frustration over the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program running out of money.

“A farmer would be a great example of what I think needs to happen when we reauthorize another $250 billion,” Braun says. “The smallest of the small business need to get access first and I think democrats and republicans would agree to it.”

Congress is considering another $250 billion for paycheck protection.

Ethanol demand destruction is also a concern for farmers.

“I’m hoping that we’ll be able to get back to the table of discussing something that makes sense before we have what’s going to happen across the economy- that’s supply and demand destruction,” he says.

Braun noted that the agriculture industry was already struggling with low commodity prices, high input costs and the impacts of trade disputes before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“My main concern is how we not only get through the coronavirus but how we find a new normal that’s sustainable for agriculture,” he says.

Farmers also discussed labor and broadband challenges. ISA and ICGA say it’s critical that elected officials understand challenges farmers are facing as they develop public policy. 

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