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Comer asks USDA to expedite relief for KY cattle producers

By Matt Smith/Michelle Bowling

Washington, D.C. - In the wake of tremendous market volatility due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Congressman James Comer (KY-1) recently sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting that the agency expedite assistance to Kentucky's cattle producers suffering from the current economic downturn.

"While I recognize that multiple commodities are facing unprecedented challenges amid the recent economic downturn, there is an immediate and critical need for our cattle producers," Congressman Comer wrote.

With passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stimulus (CARES) Act, Congress appropriated needed funding for USDA to use to provide relief for American farmers and ranchers, including cattle producers. Specifically, Comer requested that the cow/calf and stocker sectors be considered for aid in response to the continued pricing challenges facing agriculture.

In asking for timely assistance for cattle producers, Comer cited research from Mississippi State University's Department of Agriculture Economics showing a steep decline in price projections for the cow/calf and stocker industries in the coming months. The research summarized how COVID-19's impact on cattle markets is negatively affecting the entire cattle industry.

"All farmers and ranchers are vital to national food security, economic growth and supply chain providers," Comer added in the letter. "As you continue to implement relief programs for producers, I ask that Kentucky livestock and cattle producers be considered."

This story was posted on 2020-04-07 09:07:41
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