Oklahoma Farm Bureau this week pressed the U.S. Department of Agriculture to expand its Coronavirus Food Assistance Program direct payment assistance to include hard red winter wheat.
To be eligible for CFAP assistance, commodities were required to have suffered a 5-percent-or-greater decline from mid-January to mid-April 2020.
Oklahoma wheat farmers – who rank third in the U.S. in production of hard red winter wheat – were excluded from the program because of a lack of evidence of economic harm from the coronavirus pandemic.
In comments submitted to USDA this week, OKFB urged the inclusion of hard red winter wheat based on cash bid prices rather than strictly futures prices.
Using grain elevator cash bids for the weeks of Jan. 13-17 and April 6-9 (found in the chart below), OKFB found that hard red winter wheat producers experienced a 5-percent-or greater decline in price per bushel at 18 of 25 Oklahoma grain elevators.
OKFB is hopeful the USDA will reconsider including hard red winter wheat in the current assistance program as well as in any additional coronavirus relief programs.
OKFB also asked the American Farm Bureau Federation to include a request for hard red winter wheat as it submits comments on behalf of Farm Bureau members across the country.
Find more details about the USDA’s CFAP program at farmers.gov/cfap.