September 3, 2020
The Honorable Sonny Perdue
Secretary, United States Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave SW
Washington, DC 20250
Dear Secretary Perdue:
Iowa’s corn farmers have worked with you through many hardships over the past few years, and we truly value the partnership we have with your Department. Corn farmers across the state have been trying to recover from many brutal hardships including trade wars, ethanol demand destruction, rising input costs, a global pandemic, a statewide drought, and lower corn prices. On August 10, however, Iowa corn farmers were dealt a blow from a horrendous derecho storm. The damage from the derecho that swept through the central part of the state impacted over 8 million acres of corn and destroyed tens of millions of bushels of grain storage just before the harvest season. Due to the destruction and devastation across central Iowa and D3 drought in large pockets of the state, we need your help to provide Iowa farmers relief and aid so they can begin to rebuild and prepare for next year.
The requests below came directly from our farmer members over the past few days. Corn farmers have long preferred solutions that further expand and develop markets for corn in all forms, but given the perfect storm of factors having immediate, harmful impacts on the farm economy, we would appreciate if you could honor these requests to help Iowa’s corn farmers across the state:
Increase the indemnity on crop insurance for farmers either by granting 100% coverage level or at a minimum an increase in 10% coverage level from their chosen coverage level.
Have the premiums due for crop insurance be later in the year. Right now, it is due in late September and move it to later in the year like December.
Make sure CFAP payments are issued for 2020 crop and that the 2020 crop is paid on base acres and not harvested bushels due to so much corn being damaged due to Derecho.
Allow CFAP payments to be issued retroactively to producers who marketed their grain late in the 2019 growing season.
Please instruct RMA to issue guidance not requiring farmers to harvest downed corn to receive a payout.
Provide farmers grain storage loans to assist in rebuilding all the storage damaged from the derecho.
Allow livestock and biofuel producers to apply for assistance through the Department.
Ask Congress to work with SBA to fix PPP rules that will help farmers qualify for assistance by allowing gross revenue to be used in calculating qualifications for assistance.
Please ask the Administration to work with Congress to express the importance of any relief package that is passed out in the near future to include ag relief provisions.
Thank you for your time and hearing Iowa farmers concerns. We look forward to working with you and providing solutions for Iowa’s corn farmers to receive relief from the disaster that swept through the state destroying homes, farms, and livelihoods.
President, Iowa Corn Growers Association