Nebraska Edition | April 2, 2020

#!"'F_ZeVUD`jSVR_3`RcU 2]] RTc`dd 2^VcZTR VgVcj`_V Wc`^ W]VVed R_U ^`e`cZded e` T`^aR_ZVd R_U ^f_ZTZaR]ZeZVd T`f_ed `_ SZ`UZVdV] e` a`hVc eYVZc gVYZT]Vd R_U YVRe eYVZc SfZ]UZ_Xd :ed UV^R_U _`h ViTVVUd " SZ]]Z`_ XR]]`_d R jVRc WfV]Z_X '! !!! F D [`Sd R_U RUUZ_X (% TV_ed aVc SfdYV] e` eYV gR]fV `W d`jSVR_d 3Z`UZVdV] h`c\dsW`c 2^VcZTR R_U 2^VcZTR|d d`jSVR_ WRc^Vcd EYR_\d e` WRc^Vc dfaa`ce R_U eYV d`j TYVT\`WW Zed dfTTVdd T`_eZ_fVd e` Xc`h hhhF_ZeVUD`jSVR_ `cX @ G 6 C " 3 : = = : @ ? 8 2 = = @ ? D 2 J 6 2 C  D F A A @ C E : ? 8 ' ! ! ! ! F D ; @ 3 D 2 5 5 : ? 8 ( % 4 6 ? E D A 6 C 3 F D 9 6 = E @ E 9 6 G2 = F 6 @ 7 D @ J 3 6 2 ? D 402-441-3240 www.nebraskasoybeans.org Biodiesel Works 10009796 By Robert Pore GRAND ISLAND — Rep. Adrian Smith has joined with the rest of the Nebraska delegation and more than 100 other members of Congress in urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to implement assistance as soon as possible to help cattle producers affected by the coronavirus outbreak. “During the COVID-19 outbreak, we have seen firsthand the importance of food production and how much we rely on our producers,” Smith said. Cattle producers play a critical role in feeding our nation, he said, but are now having to weather low prices and market volatility, among other constraints. “We owe a great deal of thanks to our producers for feeding America,” Smith said. “It is now our turn to provide the assistance they need during this unprecedented time.” He said Phase III of the federal government’s COVID-19 response, known as the CARES Act, which was recently signed into law by President Trump, provides $9.5 billion in emergency funding and replenishes the Commodity Credit Corp. for agricultural producers impacted by COVID-19, including livestock producers. In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Smith and the other representatives said producers are facing market volatility. ”While we do not know what the full market impact will be for the various commodities produced in our states, we recognize that there is an immediate need for assistance for our cattle producers,” Smith and the others wrote. Smith’s 3rd Congressional District is the largest cattle-producing, cattle-feeding and processing district in the country. Nebraska’s cattle complex is a $12 billion annual industry. According to CoBank, a member of the Farm Credit System, the U.S. cattle industry has seen a swift and sharp decline in the last month following the drop in global equities and oil prices. CoBank reports that since mid-January, April live cattle futures have fallen by approximately 25%. “The beef complex profit pool is shifting in favor of packers at the cost of lower feeding margins. The loss of restaurant and food service customers due to COVID-19 will test beef prices this spring,” CoBank wrote. Smith and the others are requesting the USDA consider data and estimates available from the Office of the Chief Economist and implement a program that would directly respond to the negative effect on producers. “This program should deliver targeted, temporary, equitable relief to cattle producers in a manner that limits market distortions and negative effects on price discovery,” Smith and the others told Purdue. The representatives said that the COVID-19 outbreak has “demonstrated the need for domestic food security.“ “All farmers and ranchers are vital to our country’s ability to keep food on the table in a future pandemic or related crisis, and many producers, including young producers, are often highly leveraged and cannot fall back on years of equity in a time of crisis,” they wrote. ”As such, we urge you to quickly deliver relief to producers as we work to lessen the economic impact of this pandemic.” Rep. Smith urges USDA to act quickly to help struggling cattle producers

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