Missouri Soybean Update on COVID-19 and Ag Impacts
Your Missouri Soybean Association, Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council and Foundation for Soy Innovation leadership are continuing to monitor the situation surrounding the spread of COVID-19 and taking action to protect the health and safety of our team, as well as yours.
It’s been heartening to see how our ag family has stepped up in these challenging times, from giving N95 masks to healthcare providers and supporting local food drives, to Paseo-Cargill donating glycerin from the biodiesel plant to their Kansas City neighbors at J. Rieger & Co. distillery to make hand sanitizer. Social distancing doesn’t stop us from taking care of one another, and we’re proud to support that work!
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We also want you to know that our team is continuing to work on your behalf, protecting the bottom line and future opportunities for soybean farmers and the entire soy value chain. Our work is not limited to COVID-19.
Top-of-mind issues as we navigate this challenging time include:
- Agriculture as Essential Function – continuing to have agricultural business recognized as an essential function and exempted from stay-at-home orders and similar restrictions, especially as we work to move both raw and value-added goods to market and prepare for planting season.
- Levee Repair and Crop Insurance – we’re monitoring flooding risk and predictions closely, and are working with RMA on resources for growers affected by damaged or destroyed levees. Payments through MFP or similar disaster relief programming are high priorities as the Missouri Soybean Association advocates for growers. Likewise, we’re working with ARC/PLC program administrators on the potential for advances on anticipated disbursements this year. We’re also working for an increase in funding for Prevent Plant claims this year and advocating for the Lower Missouri River Flood Prevention Program Act.
- H2As – we’ve heard directly from producers affected by delays in H2A visas and the impact that has on spring field work, as well as caring for livestock. We’re working with our Missouri’s congressional leadership to clear those roadblocks quickly and safely.
- Trucking and Transportation Waivers – in addition to recognizing agricultural operations as essential functions, we continue to advocate for eased restrictions on weight limits and hours of service to ensure transportation challenges aren’t a barrier during this time.
- SBA Loans – the U.S. Small Business Administration has already approved Missouri’s request for assistance through the federal agency’s disaster loan program, making low interest disaster loans available to small businesses and private non-profits severely impacted by COVID-19 via sba.gov/disaster.
- Broadband – this situation has amplified the need for high-speed internet access across our rural communities and we’re working to ensure access is maximized, and that barriers like data caps and speed limitations are lifted.
We’ve also polled the farmer leaders of Missouri Soybeans’ boards of directors on the issues they’re seeing. Their feedback is linked here.
Our team is committed to being flexible and responsive as we serve you throughout this disruptive and challenging time. If you have questions about these priorities or find yourself facing a situation in which the Missouri Soybean team may be of assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out. To connect with Missouri Soybean staff, call (573) 635-3819 or find individual contact information posted online at mosoy.org/meet-the-staff.
Thank you for your continued support as we all try to navigate this rapidly changing situation.
Stay healthy and safe.
Gary M. Wheeler
Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director
Missouri Soybean Association
Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council
Foundation for Soy Innovation