Iowa farmers receive $400 million in Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

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That's more than an other single state to help keep Iowa farmers afloat.

IRETON, Iowa (KCAU) – A new USDA report that was released on Monday indicates more than $4 billion has been given out to farmers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).

KCAU 9’s Jessica Watson totaled up the numbers from Monday’s report and more than $400 million of the $4 billion, already distributed, has gone to farmers in Iowa.

That’s more than any other single state in the country! The money from CFAP will help keep Iowa farmers afloat.

“We kinda are just in a wait and see mode. This whole COVID thing has really put everyone in limbo. Nobody really knows how it will turn out or when things will resume back to normal, so everybody is kinda just taking their payment money from the government and just hoping for the best to see what is going to come out of it this year,” said Chris Ten Napel, an Ireton farmer.

While Siouxland farmers said they’re having the best crops they’ve seen in years, what they expect to get out of it is different.

“Indirectly cattle, hogs, chickens, they eat and as a result of some of the changes that had to be made on the livestock side that did alter what rations were doing, what farmers were feeding them, which then again is indirectly impacting both the protein side soybeans and the corn side,” said Gary Wright, the farm management specialist for Iowa State University Extension.

“A lot of that is due to the demand destruction we had with the COVID, you know, our ethanol grind is way down from what it has been. Basically, we are growing a really good crop this year and we are not getting rid of what’s on hand, so that’s kinda the anchor on our prices right now,” said Ten Napel.

More than 37,000 Iowans are receiving funds from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.

“Producers would say they would much rather be making a living doing what they do well, but at the same time, the subsidies that are out there they help guys possibly farm another year,” said Wright.

“They basically are helping with our cash flow, cause right now if we sell some of our corn and beans, we are not making a lot of money. But the extra payments that we are getting, we are able to keep paying our bills,” said Ten Napel.

Producers have until August 28 to apply for a portion of the $16 billion allocated for relief.

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