Stimulus Package for American Poultry Farmers
If you are stressing over wanting to know if stimulus funds are going to be available for contract growers of poultry, you are in the right place. Growers from all over the country have been burning up our phones and email at American Poultry Company looking for answers. In an attempt to help where we can, we have composed the following details from our contacts in the poultry industry.
The $2 trillion stimulus proposal is out but seems to be directed at big business and large voter pools. Senate Leader Chuck Schumer called the agreement "the largest rescue package in history," as confirmed cases in America, now over 70,000, are climbing at an exponential rate. Higher rates are expected as America increases testing.
What you get as a farmer:
Adults with Social Security numbers, who are United States residents, and have an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less would get the full amount of $1,200. Married couples with no children earning $150,000 or less would receive a total of $2,400. For every child age 16 or under, the payment would be an additional $500. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said checks could go out about three weeks after final passage. Democrats in the House of Representatives wouldn’t provide a firm timeline of when they would vote to pass the bill.
You can find your adjusted gross income on line 8b of the 2019 1040 federal tax return.
What big business gets:
The stimulus bill includes $367 billion for small businesses but by SBA's last statement we are not sure poultry farmers qualify. You can read more on that here. The proposed bill also includes $500 billion for loans to larger industries, $100 billion for hospitals and the health care system and $600+/- more per week in unemployment benefits for those out of work. The Fed is direct lending to the following: $50 billion for passenger airlines, $8 billion for cargo airlines, and $17 billion for businesses critical to “maintaining national security.”
The Poultry Market
The companies that feed America are bracing for labor shortages and worrying about restocking stores as supply chains start to fall apart.
Poultry Integrators: The big poultry integrators, as well as retailers that provide basic staples, are bracing for labor shortages as the coronavirus pandemic intensifies. In the case of the poultry processors, they are concerned that as workers fall ill and are unable to operate the processing lines, plant production will grind to a halt.
Retailers: Distribution facilities and grocery stores are now facing a difficult choice of how to keep shelves stocked while also keeping their workforce safe from the coronavirus. Already, entire store chains are rationing products as shelves empty out of basic essential products. Only during major hurricanes or earthquakes do you see such chaos and fear but this time its on a national scale, not localized. Producers and supply chain management are assuring the public there is enough food in warehouses and on the production line to last several months. The real challenge could be getting that food to its destination once local distribution centers shut down due to loss of labor and fear for their store employees.
Not all retailers are so bleak on the market but industry officials acknowledge some uncertainty about how they will be able to replenish stock if factories are short-staffed. Over the past decade, retailers have become more efficient due to "just in time" manufacturing thus slimming down on inventory instead of stockpiling.
Remember the retail stores you visited 20 years ago, where the front half of the store was retail and the back half was full of inventory? We used to ask "Do you have any in the back?" The modern store answer is "No, but I can order it."
I admit I sound like a total doomsayer, but am trying to address possibilities that are not far-fetched. It would be irresponsible of me not to address the elephant in the room which is farmers are "guns for hire" and not employees of the integrators. We all have treated a virus on our farms at some point, but they occur only on a single farm or local area of farms. When a virus affects processing plant workers and the supply chain slows or, God help us, STOPS, that is when the entire business falls apart. At scale, the only way to deal with such a disaster is to euthanize a major portion of the farms and equalize the rate of poultry coming in and out of the processing plants.
We know the importance of making sure that the poultry market continues, as it feeds America's families! If you have question or comments please contact us. As we learn how farmers are successful navigating these uncharted waters, we will share their successes enabling other farmers to adapt in these troubling times.
If you would like the latest news:
Send us a Text Msg with your email address and we will send you news related to the poultry business as we receive it. 601-324-5520