According to recent numbers released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), sheep producers have collected more than $26.6 million in payments from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). Payments for lambs and yearlings accounted for more than 91% ($24,366,284.11) of money paid to the American sheep industry. Producers also benefited from wool payments, $1,368,303.22 for non-graded wool and $894,354 for graded wool.
“America’s sheep producers are struggling just like everyone else during this difficult time for our country,” said American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) President Benny Cox. “We thank the Trump Administration, Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture for not only recognizing those struggles but for taking action to assist the industry financially.”
According to ASI, they played a key role in showing losses and projected damage, $125 million at the farm gate, within the sheep industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. That information was part of the decision-making process as USDA worked to develop this vital assistance program. ASI continues to reach out to USDA and congressional supporters to address additional losses within the industry, specifically, coverage for replacement and cull ewes. USDA announced this week the addition of a handful of specialty crops not covered in the original program announcement, and it is expected to do the same for livestock in the near future.
As of July 6, the CFAP program had approved 365,262 applications and paid out $5.364 billion to American agricultural producers. Livestock accounted for just more than 50% of all CFAP payments at $2.7 billion.
More data on CFAP payments can be found at www.farmers.gov/cfap/data.