Out of the $23.5 billion earmarked for agriculture in the latest coronavirus relief package, “I think at least $9 billion will be going to livestock producers,” said Senate Agriculture chairman Pat Roberts on Wednesday. During a WIBW Radio interview, the Kansas Republican also said that Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue would disburse coronavirus funds before deciding if a new round of trade war payments is needed.
“Our cattle feeders have been hit very hard,” said Roberts. Futures prices for major commodities, including corn, soybeans, wheat, cattle, and hogs, fell sharply as the coronavirus spread worldwide. Wheat has recovered somewhat.
Meanwhile, a group of small-farm advocates wrote Perdue to “urge you to ensure that farmers and ranchers who have lost local and regional markets due to the pandemic receive financial relief, especially direct assistance, that is commensurate with their expected losses of over $1 billion.”