Agriculture groups welcomed the rollout of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program direct payments but say farmers will need more relief. 

National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Ross says, “This assistance is a first step to getting farmers, and our customers, back on solid footing.” 

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall calls the program critically important, adding, “long-term effects of this pandemic are still rippling through the farm economy.” 

AFBF points out that farm bankruptcies increased 23 percent in March 2020 compared to a year earlier, bankruptcies that occurred before the pandemic dropped commodity prices. 

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Marty Smith adds, “this is just one step and much more needs to be done.” 

Details behind the $16 billion in direct payments were announced at the White House Tuesday. 

The Department of Agriculture is expected to utilize an additional $14 billion for relief funds to farmers and ranchers later this summer.