Iowa Cattlemen upset with payment cap on latest round of COVID relief

The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association is urging USDA to remove payment limitations on the latest round of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program relief for cattle producers.

ICA director of government relations Cora Fox tells Brownfield there was no mention of a cap on payments when Congress passed additional appropriations near the end of 2020.

“So upon USDA deciding to implement this program (and) after Secretary Vilsack officially took the helm of USDA, they had decided to apply a payment limitation that was utilized for CFAP1 back in 2020 to this year’s payments.”

She says producers who met the $250,000 limitation for CFAP1 last year are ineligible to receive additional assistance this go-around.

“USDA had no discretionary authority in interpreting the directive. The formula that was actually utilized to determine payments, USDA could not make any changes there because that was explicitly included in statute by Congress. So this payment limitation is really only on the shoulders of USDA at this point.”

The Iowa Cattlemens Association has written Ag Secretary Vilsack requesting he consider applying additional funds to mitigate any shortfalls resulting from the payment cap.

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