USDA disaster funding comes at ‘critical’ time
The National Association of Wheat Growers is applauding USDA’s $6 billion of funding for disaster relief to farmers covering the 2020 and 2021 crop years.
NAWG CEO Chandler Goule tells Brownfield the funding is coming at a critical time.
“Especially after the severe droughts that we had last year and, of course, as we continue to deal with the current drought in our winter wheat areas right now; along with an extremely wet spring where our spring wheat is also being planted,” he said.
Goule said spring wheat planting is around two percent complete, well behind it’s normal pace of around 95 percent done at this time.
The funding is part of a $10 billion USDA package authorized by Congress last fall. Goule said of the $6 billion being made available, $800 million is going to wheat growers. He said applications and funding availability is being tailored to the individual.
“It’s going to depend on how much crop insurance coverage you had, what your loss was,” Goule said. “Did you have 70 to 95 percent coverage or NAP or catastrophic.”
He said much of the funding will go to the Pacific Northwest and span into the Western Plains.
“To the Dakotas – that had a lot of issues – then, kind of, come down towards Nebraska – Texas [and] Oklahoma would be some other major areas that will definitely benefit from this program.”
Goule said while the funding is making up for crop losses caused by droughts and derecho events the last two years, it will help farmers get through current challenges.
“Even if we were selling a lot of wheat right now at these higher prices, almost all of that profit is being eaten by the increased cost of productions due to input,” he said.
Based on conversations with USDA, Goule said the Farm Service Agency funding should be rolling out from the end of May to mid-June.