ASFMRA AgNews - April 28, 2020

By ASFMRA Press posted 30 days ago


Free Idaho Potatoes are Feeding People at Home, Across U.S.

Like many farmers and ranchers in Idaho, Ryan Cranney began feeling the effects of COVID-19’s disruption in the restaurant supply chain in mid-March. What was supposed to be a good year for Cranney Farms’ crops quickly turned into a surplus he couldn’t sell.

That is when he took to Facebook and put out a call for anyone to come get those surplus potatoes — for free. The move resulted in national attention and the arrival of hundreds of people at his farm.

Read the full Story.

Farmland Values Still Healthy

Farmland Market Mostly Ignores Coronavirus, for Now

Although farm finances are tight for the fifth year in a row and the cash flow outlook is grim, farm tenants are generally honoring their leases this spring, real estate experts said, and land values appear to be holding steady.

When most cash rents were paid on March 1, the coronavirus was not seen as that menacing in farm country. It wasn't until the second week in March when major events started to be cancelled that people worried about widespread ramifications of the coronavirus, said Doug Hensley, president of Hertz Real Estate Services in Nevada, Iowa.

Read the Full Story.

Welcome New Members

Help us welcome our newest members to ASFMRA! We are thrilled that you have chosen ASFMRA as the organization to be affiliated with. Because of you, ASFMRA continues to grow and support rural property professionals across the nation!

We are recognizing new members of the Society on a monthly basis. You may recognize your colleagues in the following list and we encourage you to welcome them into ASFMRA!

New Members

  • Jared Graber with RCB Bank in Hutchinson, KS (Kansas Chapter)
  • Cole Klockenga in Lincoln, IL (Illinois Chapter)
  • Colton Lacina with Farmers National Company in Moravia, IA (Iowa Chapter)
  • Court Merrigan with Platte Valley Bank in Torrington, WY (Nebraska and Wyoming Chapters)
  • Charlotte Mitchell with California Farmland Trust in Elk Grove, CA (California Chapter)
  • Michael Peterson in Johnson, KS (Kansas Chapter)
  • Matthew Preszler with Northern Plains Appraisal LLC in Brookings, SD (South Dakota Chapter)
  • Paige Stofferahn-Muck in Rapid City, SD (South Dakota Chapter)
  • Kim Woodman in Southington, OH (Ohio Chapter)

Share Your Experience - Make a Referral

You know first-hand what a great organization ASFMRA is and what it means to you both professionally and personally. We thank you for spreading the word, you are the driving force behind our continued growth! Talk to those you know who would benefit from ASFMRA’s educational offerings, networking, and meetings. Let them know your experiences of being involved in this great association and some of the business contacts you have made along with lasting friendships. Your peers listed below have done just that! They spoke to individuals about ASFMRA and those individuals have now become members of ASFMRA!

  • Brian Gatzke, ARA
  • Simon Jette Nantel
  • Robert Regenwether, AFM
  • Brock Thurman, AFM

Thank you to all who have referred someone and in some cases, more than one, to join ASFMRA.

More Paycheck Protection Program Funding Available  

Last week the Senate and House passed a fourth emergency appropriations bill totaling $484 billion. The bulk of the funding, $310 billion, goes to provide additional funds for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) administered by the Small Business Administration. President Trump signed the bill and the additional money becomes available today. The bill also provided $60 billion for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Grant Programs (EIDL) and it clarified that farmers and ranchers are eligible for the EIDL. It is widely expected that the $310 billion for PPP will be completely disbursed before the end of the week. Importantly, the bill also provides $25 billion for COVID-19 testing.

Paycheck Protection Program – Where did the Money Go?

The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has allocated nearly all of its $349 billion is authorized loan amounts. The SBA has released a short report detailing where the funding has gone by State, loan size, industry sectors, and approved lender. The agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sector received $4.4 billion or 1.28% of the total amount. California and Texas are the top two State recipients.

USDA Announces Additional COVID-19 Relief  

On Friday April 17, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the department intends to provide an additional $19 billion in relief to farmers and ranchers via the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). Of the $19 billion, $16 billion will go towards direct payments to producers and $3 billion will be used to buy commodities starting with $100 million monthly each for fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy, and meat products. The USDA announcement is short on many details of how the $16 billion will be structured.

Senator Hoeven’s (R-ND) press release provides additional detail regarding how the $16 billion will be allocated. Of the $16 billion, $9.6 billion will be allocated for the livestock industry, including $5.1 billion for cattle, $2.9 billion for dairy and $1.6 billion for hogs. The remaining amount would be split with $3.9 billion allocated for row crop producers, $2.1 billion for specialty crops producers, and $500 million for others crops. (Note the figures do not total $16 billion)

According to the Senator’s press release, producers will receive a single payment determined using two calculations:

First part will be for price losses that occurred January 1-April 15, 2020. Producers will be compensated for 85% of price loss during that period. The second part of the payment will be expected losses from April 15 through the next two quarters and will cover 30% of expected losses.

The press release also states a payment limit of $125,000 per commodity with an overall limit of $250,000 per individual or entity will be in place. Qualified commodities must have experienced a 5% price decrease between January and April.

USDA is expediting an interim final rule to implement the program and Secretary Perdue has stated he hopes the direct payments to producers will commence in May.

Payment Limit Apprehension

Twenty-eight Senators and 126 House members sent separate, but identical, letters to Agriculture Secretary Perdue and Acting OMB Director Vought last week urging the Administration to not place any payment limits on the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) payments for livestock, dairy and specialty crop recipients. USDA announced the CFAP last week at $19 billion dollars with $16 billion allocated for direct payments to producers. The letters state that payment limits are too restrictive to provide meaningful assistance to the livestock, dairy and specialty crop industries. The USDA CFAP announcement did not mention payment limits, but a separate press release from Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) that provided more CFAP detail did.

Additional COVID-19 Assistance for Agriculture?

Last week Congressman Austin Scott (R-GA) introduced a bi-partisan bill along with 31 cosponsors (listed below) to provide an additional $50 billion in emergency assistance to USDA. Rather than fooling around with additional CCC borrowing authority, the bill would provide an emergency appropriation of $50 billion. 

No similar bill has been introduced in the Senate. While a 5th emergency Coronavirus supplemental bill is widely expected sometime after Congress returns to D.C., currently scheduled for May 4, its components and size are unknown at this time. Additionally, the Agriculture Committees may want to weigh in with regard to how to structure additional payments rather than leaving it at the discretion of Secretary Perdue. The $50 billion should be viewed as an opening bid in an expected debate regarding additional assistance for farmers and ranchers.

Original co-sponsors are U.S. Representatives Ralph Abraham (R-LA), Rick Allen (R-GA), Cindy Axne (D-IA), Don Bacon (R-NE), Jim Baird (R-IN), Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Mike Bost (R-IL), Buddy Carter (R-GA), Doug Collins (R-GA), Rick Crawford (R-AR), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Neal Dunn (R-FL) Jim Hagedorn (R-MN), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Trent Kelly (R-MS), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Tom O'Halleran (D-AZ), Tom Rice (R-SC), David Rouzer (R-NC), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Kim Schrier (D-WA), Darren Soto (D-FL), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), David Scott (D-GA), Glenn 'GT' Thompson (R-PA), Joe Wilson (R-SC), Rob Woodall (R-GA), and Ted Yoho (R-FL).