Great Falls, MT – 21 Senators representing wheat-producing states, including Senators from Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota, issued a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture “regarding the deteriorating economic conditions being experienced by wheat farmers across the country” and the compounding impact this is having with COVID-19.
“NAWG wants to give a special thanks to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) for taking the lead on this letter,” stated NAWG President and Cass City, MI wheat grower Dave Milligan. “We applaud both parties for coming together to advocate on such an important issue.”
MGGA President Vince Mattson added, “We appreciate Senator Steve Daines and Senator Jon Tester supporting this effort on behalf of Montana grain producers, and also thank Congressman Gianforte for signing on to a companion letter in the House. All Montana wheat growers have experienced economic harm and should be included in any subsequent relief program.”
In the letter, the Senators point to the economic impact of COVID-19 on wheat prices and the need for assistance for all wheat growers. The letter focuses on the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), stating that “while this assistance remains important to those (hard red spring and durum wheat) producers, these classes of wheat represent approximately 30 percent of 2019 production, leaving the majority of wheat farmers without access to assistance through the CFAP program.”
“Again, we want to thank the USDA for getting CFAP quickly off the ground but stress that it does not do enough for all wheat farmers,” continued Milligan. “NAWG urges USDA to provide assistance to farmers of all classes of wheat and to consider 2020 crop losses and price decline when developing any future aid plan.”
Montana Grain Growers Association
Northern Ag Network