Farm Bureau economist explains stand-out numbers in CFAP data
An ag economist says USDA underestimated the economic need from producers of some commodities, while others have yet to claim their allotted funds through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.
John Newton, Chief Economist for American Farm Bureau tells Brownfield as of August 3rd, sheep producers had received 140% of their estimated CFAP funds.
“USDA probably had a pretty conservative estimate on what CFAP support would go out to those producers and it turns out based on the payment data there are more producers impacted than I think USDA initially estimated.”
On the other hand, Newton says some commodities have used less than USDA expected so far with less than a month left to apply.
“We’ve really got to get the word out to those fruit and vegetable producers who have only received about 10% of their estimated support.”
Newton says historically, USDA has not given direct payments to sheep or specialty crop producers, so they had little data to base their original estimates on. Applications will be accepted until August 28th and sheep producers remain eligible.
Forty-four percent of the first round of CFAP payments has been paid out so far, with the largest recipients being cattle producers at more than $2 billion and dairy producers at $1.3 billion. Iowa leads the country receiving 10% of total payments, while 7% has gone to farmers in Nebraska. Both states have a heavy population of livestock.