July 16, 2020
Arkansas farmers, ranchers receive more than $86 million in COVID assistance
By Mary Hightower
U of A System Division of Agriculture
- Arkansas ranks 22nd in CFAP payments
- Livestock producers submit 11,000 applications
- $19.61 million goes to non-specialty crops
JONESBORO, Ark. — Arkansas farmers and ranchers have received more than $86 million in Coronavirus Food Assistance Program direct payments as of Monday, according to a report released Monday.
The payments are designed to provide relief to eligible farmers and ranchers facing financial losses due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The payments are part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s $16 billion financial aid package to farmers.
Arkansas’ share was 1.5 percent of total payments made nationwide. Arkansas ranks 22nd among the recipients of CFAP money. As of June 15, Iowa was the top recipient of CFAP funds from all categories with $318.99 million. Alaska received zero dollars in funding.
Lion’s share to livestock
Scott Stiles, extension economist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said that nearly 75 percent — $64.66 million — of the approved CFAP payments in Arkansas went to livestock producers, while nearly 23 percent, or $19.61 million, went to non-specialty crops, which include spring wheat, soybeans, cotton and corn. Rice and winter wheat were excluded from the program. Specialty crop producers received $1.27 million, while dairy farmers accounted for less than $1 million, at $807,587.
Livestock producers in Arkansas also submitted the most applications to the program, more than 11,000. The livestock category includes cattle, hogs and sheep. In 2018, the latest figures available, Arkansas cattle and calves were a $480 million business and the state ranked No. 10 in the nation in beef cattle.
COVID has not been gentle on beef producers, hitting production facilities early on and backing up cattle sales.
“What’s mainly behind the high number of applications is that anyone who sold or owned inventory of cattle between Jan. 15 and May 14 of this year is eligible for some kind of direct payment under CFAP,” said John Anderson, head of the Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness department for the Division and the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences. “Basically, every cattle operation in the state is eligible.”
Deadline Aug. 28
Eligible farmers and ranchers may apply for CFAP direct payments through county USDA Farm Service Agency offices until Aug. 28. More information on the CFAP program and the application process may be found at farmers.gov/cfap.
Monday’s report is part of the Division of Agriculture’s weekly analyses of the impact of COVID-19 on the economy. See them at https://bit.ly/AR-Ag-Eco-Impacts2020.
To learn about extension and research programs in Arkansas, visit www.division.uaex.edu, Follow us on Twitter at @AgInArk, @uaex_edu or @ArkAgResearch.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Chief Communications Officer
University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture