Joe Neal Hampton
Congressman Frank Lucas
Oklahoma hard red winter wheat farmers were left out of the CFAP. Some believe USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue has abandoned southern plains wheat farmers during a time of extreme economic duress that has persisted throughout the Trump administration's tenure.
Oklahoma wheat farmers left out of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
A $16 billion USDA relief program created to help farmers and ranchers deal with the economic blows dealt by the coronavirus has started accepting applications. However, one commodity prevalent across Oklahoma, hard red winter wheat, will not reap the benefits.
Commodities eligible for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program must have suffered a price drop of at least five percent from Jan. 15 to April 15, and while wheat advocates say market data shows a sufficient drop for hard red and others, the program’s writers see it differently.
According to May futures contracts on the Chicago Board of Trade, hard red winter and soft red winter wheat suffered an .84 cent and .79 cent drop, respectively. The National Association of Wheat Growers sent this data to the USDA.
“Each of these futures contracts experienced a more than 10% price decline during the designated time period, and farmers marketing 2019 production during this timeframe should be eligible for assistance as they were impacted by the price volatility,” read the letter from David Milligan, president of the National Association of Wheat Growers, to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.
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