MONTGOMERY, Ala.— The Alabama Cattlemen’s Association (ACA) hails Gov. Kay Ivey for her approval of the Alabama Agricultural Stabilization Program, which includes $10.5 million for the beef cattle industry. Funding is provided as part of the $1.8 billion Alabama received from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and will be implemented through the Department of Agriculture and Industries.
The ACA along with industry stakeholders worked in coordination with the Department of Agriculture and Industries to propose framework for a program specifically for the cattle industry.
“We are appreciative of Gov. Ivey’s continued support and recognition of the importance of Alabama’s beef cattle industry,” ACA President Larry Reeves said. “Economic stability is imperative for cattlemen, and these funds will help alleviate the financial stresses incurred from this ongoing pandemic.”
The program will provide $10.5 million to cattle producers in Alabama who sold cattle from April 16-May 15, 2020. This timeframe falls out of the parameters of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which provided direct payment for cattle sold January 15-April 15.
Cattlemen in the state who sold cattle during the April 16-May 15 time period should expect to provide a sales receipt outlining the number of cattle sold, date of sale, and weight of cattle to be eligible for application. Those approved will receive $69/head for calves weighing less than 600 pounds, $106/head for cattle 601-900 pounds and $181/head for cattle over 900 pounds.
Additionally, $1.5 million have been awarded as a grant program for existing small meat processors in the state to increase slaughter capacity.
“Cattle producers across the state have suffered tremendous economic impact during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Rick Pate said, “to the point it threatens the future of their operations. This supplemental program issued by Gov. Kay Ivey will fill a void left by the CFAP program to provide financial security for cattlemen in the state.”
Across the nation, cattlemen have battled disrupted beef supply chains, uncertainty in the marketplace, added input costs and a collapse in the foodservice beef business, resulting in detrimental volatility in market conditions. While the total losses will not be seen for months, a study conducted by top agricultural economists suggest a $13.6 billion economic loss on the cattle industry— $7 billion of which will come from the cow-calf and stocker sectors, which largely represent Alabama’s cattle footprint.
For more information on this state-issued direct payment program, contact the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association at (334) 265-1867.