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USDA Offers Additional Assistance for Certain Producers Through Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide additional assistance through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), expanding eligibility for some agricultural producers and commodities as well as updating payments to accurately compensate some producers who already applied for the program. Producers who are now eligible and those who need to modify existing applications due to these updates can contact USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) between Jan. 19 and Feb. 26. Some of these changes are being made to align with the recently enacted Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 while others are discretionary changes being made in response to ongoing evaluation of CFAP.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has left a deep impact on the farm economy, and we are utilizing the tools and monies available to ease some of the financial burdens on American producers to ensure...
NTF Applauds Expanded Eligibility for CFAP 2
The National Turkey Federation (NTF) welcomed the announcement that USDA will provide additional assistance to contract turkey farmers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2).
“No industry has escaped the economic challenges of COVID-19, including turkey farming families across the country,” said Joel Brandenberger, NTF president. “The announcement by Secretary Perdue...
Contract Broiler Growers Can Begin to Apply for Federal COVID-19 Relief on January 19
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide additional assistance through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), expanding eligibility for some agricultural producers and commodities as well as updating payments to accurately compensate some producers who already applied for the program. Producers who are now eligible and those who need to modify existing applications due to these updates can contact USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) between January 19 and February 26.
Contract producers of broilers, pullets, laying hens, chicken eggs (breeders), turkeys and...
NRF Chief Economist says Latest Stimulus will Help Continue Recovery from Pandemic
Economic challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic will continue in 2021, but stimulus legislation signed into law just after Christmas will help maintain and accelerate the nation’s ongoing recovery, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said.
“As we closed out 2020, it was an end to a whirlwind year whose challenging economic environment will almost certainly continue in 2021,” Kleinhenz said. “The coming year might be just as eventful as the economic recovery faces many uncertainties...
Meat and Poultry Industry Reacts to COVID-19 Stimulus Package
The COVID-19 stimulus bill agreed upon by Congress contains language that would authorize the USDA to provide up to $1 billion in assistance to contract chicken growers for revenue losses sustained because of the pandemic. According to the bill, the fund is specifically for contract growers of livestock and poultry to cover up to 80% of revenue losses.
Mike Brown, President of the National Chicken Council, said, "On behalf of the chicken industry and our farm families across the country, I want to personally thank Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) for his leadership and his support in helping to secure this vital funding...
Restaurant Industry in Free Fall; 10,000 Close in Three Months
The National Restaurant Association sent a letter to Congressional leadership, sharing new survey findings that illustrate continued business deterioration across the restaurant industry and offering support for the moderate compromise proposal as a 'down payment' toward a larger relief package in early 2021.
"What these findings make clear is that more than 500,000 restaurants of every business type—franchise, chain, and independent—are in an economic
NRF Encouraged by Bipartisan Stimulus Package Conversations
The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay in response to the announcement of a $900 billion bipartisan coronavirus stimulus package. “NRF and our members have been vocal and consistent in our calls for additional, targeted fiscal stimulus and the extension of expiring coronavirus relief measures. We are encouraged by...
Bacon Farmers Seek Immediate COVID-Relief Action
President Trump expressed disappointment regarding the ongoing stalemate in the development of new COVID-relief legislation, saying his lead negotiator “hasn’t come home with the bacon.” Without immediate relief for hog farmers in crisis, the treasury secretary may not be the only one not bringing home the bacon, according to the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).
“We’ve lost hog farmers of all sizes due to the COVID pandemic and need additional relief to preserve a highly competitive pork production system in the United States,” said NPPC President Howard A.V. Roth, a hog farmer from Wauzeka, Wisconsin. “Without federal assistance, we will...
Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims Reach Highest Number Since August
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, initial unemployment claims for the week ending October 10 reached 898,000, an increase of 53,000 from the previous week's revised level. This is the highest number since August 22, and economists surveyed by Dow Jones had expected about 830,000 claims. The increase in claims indicates that the labor market is still struggling to get back to its pre-pandemic mark.
The 4-week moving average was 866,250, an increase of 8,000 from the week prior. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 6.8% for the week ending October 3, a decrease of 0.9 percentage point from the previous week's revised rate. Those receiving first-time benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program continued to...
NTF Supports Efforts to Provide Relief for Turkey Farmers
The National Turkey Federation (NTF) applauds the introduction of S. 4353 by Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.), which would ensure independent turkey farmers are eligible to apply for future Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) payments. Joel Brandenberger, NTF president, released the following statement on the bill as well as other pending congressional efforts to provide relief to turkey farmers who have experienced losses related to COVID-19:
“NTF applauds Senator Smith’s introduction of S. 4353 and her ongoing efforts to support turkey farmers in Minnesota and across the country. The effects of COVID-19 have been felt throughout...
NPPC: Hog Farmers Urgently Need Congressional Action to Weather Crisis
U.S. hog farmers continue to face an unprecedented emergency as a result of COVID-related challenges, with an estimated two million hogs still backed-up on farms according to an analysis by Dr. Steve Meyer, an economist with Kerns & Associates. At a press briefing, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) described the damage exacted on hog farmers and urged Congress to act swiftly to preserve their livelihoods.
Dr. Meyer said U.S. hog farmers face massive losses due to multiple COVID-19 crisis-related factors, which have turned profit potential for 2020 from robust to disastrous. According to his analysis, based on lean hog futures prices on March 1 and July 10 and actual hog prices in the interim, potential 2020 revenue from hog sales has been reduced by roughly $4.7 billion. Other losses associated with...
National Restaurant Association Calls for Federal Support for the Restaurant Industry
The National Restaurant Association sent the Blueprint for Restaurant Revival to Congress. The comprehensive policy and legislative plan outlines specific and immediate action the federal government should take to stabilize the industry in the short-term and set the foundation for long-term rebuilding.
"In just the past two weeks, state and local government mandates have shut down almost 100,000 restaurants," said Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of Public Affairs for the Association. "Since the restaurant industry was first shuttered, the National Restaurant Association and our State Restaurant Association partners have led the call at the federal, state, and local level for policies that will allow us not to profit, but simply to survive this pandemic. Despite losing more...
Senators Coons, Wicker Request Financial Assistance for Chicken Farmers Impacted by COVID-19
Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) led a letter signed by 17 other senators requesting direct financial assistance for chicken farmers that have been financially impacted by COVID-19.
“As the chicken industry in Delaware and across the country continues to cope with reduced demand and processing capacity, chicken farmers have experienced a big hit to their bottom lines. In many instances, farmers are receiving fewer birds on a less frequent basis, and in some cases, they have been forced to depopulate millions of healthy birds.
Although other farmers have benefited from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, chicken farmers have not received any assistance and...
NPPC Urges Quick Senate Action on Legislative Relief for Hog Farmers
COVID-related challenges have taken a severe financial and emotional toll on U.S. hog farmers, and rapid federal government assistance is needed to help thousands of pork producers weather this crisis. At a press briefing hosted by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), four pork producers addressed the crisis on their farms and called on the U.S. Senate to expeditiously adopt livestock agriculture provisions included in COVID-relief legislation recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.
The impact of COVID-19 has caused hog values to plummet, creating a financial disaster for pork producers nationwide who face a collective $5 billion loss for the remainder of the year. Additionally, U.S. pork producers face...
Coronavirus Relief Checks Help Ease U.S. Restaurant Transaction Declines in Week Ending April 19
Likely buoyed by the coronavirus relief payments received from the government, consumers increased their restaurant transactions in the week ending April 19 relative to week ending April 12, easing the previous weeks’ declines, reports The NPD Group.
Although the industry is still at historic lows compared to year ago, restaurant customer transactions declined by 36% compared to a 43% decline the prior week, according to CREST Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for...
Retailers Call Additional Funding for Small Business Loans 'Important Step On the Path to Recovery'
The National Retail Federation welcomed House action on legislation to increase funding for loans to small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.
“There are many small retailers that won’t be in business by the time the economy reopens if these loans dry up,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “This funding will let them keep their workers on the payroll and help the economy avoid the ripple effects that will come if additional businesses cease to operate and more people lose their jobs. This is an important step on the path to recovery not just for these businesses but...
NCBA Sends Letter To Ag Secretary Perdue Urging Against CFAP Payment Limitations On Cattle Producers
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) urging against payment limitations for cattle producers under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane issued the following statement:
“The economic damage to cattle producers across the country continues to mount due to the COVID-19 crisis. While we are extremely grateful to Congress, USDA and the Trump Administration for their work to keep the beef supply chain moving and deliver aid to our producers, we are concerned that...
NCBA Delivers "Paycheck Protection Program Increase Act" for Cattle Producers and Small Business
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Vice President, Government Affairs, Ethan Lane issued the following statement in response to U.S. Senate passage of additional legislation, the Paycheck Protection Program Increase Act of 2020, to provide relief in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic:
“We applaud the Senate for advancing this critical replenishment of funding to programs like Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and we are pleased to see the reaffirmation of Congress’s intent that cattle producers be granted access to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program administered by the Small Business Administration.
"We urge the House of Representatives to move swiftly to approve this package and deliver these funds to producers across the country who are continuing to...
Retailers Welcome Legislation to Expand Small Business Pandemic Loans
The National Retail Federation welcomed a nearly $500 billion package set for a vote in the Senate that would increase funding for loans to small businesses and provide other economic aid during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Retailers continue to deal with catastrophic hardships from COVID-19 and small retailers are the hardest hit,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “The CARES Act was an important first step but funding for the Paycheck Protection Program has already been exhausted and additional relief is essential to keeping employees of small retailers on the payroll and contributing to the economy until we can get through this challenge. This assistance is too important to be given out on a first-come, first-served basis and limited to those who were the quickest to file their applications. This measure will ensure...
National Restaurant Association: Restaurant Industry has Lost Two-Thirds of Workforce
From beloved corner diners, to favorite independent restaurants to well-known chains, the entire restaurant industry has lost two-thirds of its workforce, more than eight million employees, as a result of COVID-19 closures, according to a new national survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association and included in a new industry recovery plan sent to Congress today.
The Association called on Congress to enact a new "Blueprint for Recovery" to provide targeted relief for the second largest private sector employer, an industry that is larger than airlines, railroads, ground transportation and spectator sports combined, and that has in the past been one of the...
NCBA Applauds USDA Relief Plan
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Marty Smith issued the following statement regarding the announcement related to USDA’s plan for distribution of CARES Act funding.
“We appreciate Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s announcement that the agency will soon distribute funding to the cattlemen and cattlewomen who desperately need help during this national emergency. We applaud USDA’s work to quickly craft a plan to distribute the funds to those who need it most and we look forward to learning more about that plan very soon. America’s cattle producers are facing unprecedented crisis after...
Burger Chain Shake Shack to Return $10 Million Government Loan
Shake Shack Inc said it will return the small business loan it received from the U.S. government, making it the first major firm to hand back money provided to help businesses ride out the impact of the coronavirus lockdown.
The company will immediately return the entire $10 million U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan as it was able to raise additional capital, CEO Randy Garutti and founder Danny Meyer said in a blog post on Monday.
Last week, it raised about $150 million in an equity offering.
SBA, which is a key part of the government's $2.2 trillion aid package, is aimed at helping small companies...
Coronavirus-Related Cattle Industry Losses Estimated at $13.6 Billion
A study released estimates cattle industry losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will reach $13.6 billion. The study was commissioned by NCBA and conducted by a team of industry-leading agricultural economists led by Derrell Peel, Breedlove Professor of Agribusiness and Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist at Oklahoma State University, to assist USDA in determining how best to allocate CARES Act relief funds to cattle producers.
The study shows cow-calf producers will see the largest impact, with COVID-19-related losses totaling an estimated...
Hog Farmers Face COVID-19 Financial Crisis
The impact of COVID-19 has caused hog values to plummet, creating a financial disaster for pork producers nationwide who face a collective $5 billion loss for the remainder of the year. At a press briefing, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) outlined the crisis as described by producers and the immediate relief they are requesting from the administration and Congress.
“We remain committed to supplying Americans with high-quality U.S. pork, but face a dire situation that threatens the livelihoods of thousands of farm families,” said NPPC President Howard “A.V.” Roth, a pork producer from Wauzeka, Wisconsin. “We are taking on water fast. Immediate action is imperative, or a lot of hog farms will go under.”
The suspension of pork packing plant operations and rising employee absenteeism due to COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing harvest facility capacity challenge due to...
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