WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — United States Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says Americans don’t need to panic about getting their next meal and should stop hoarding food.
“That’s just common courtesy by leaving something there for our fellow neighbors,” Perdue said.
He says U.S. farmers are working diligently to keep up with demand. While the store shelves might be bare now, there is plenty of food he says.
“That’s the good thing, we have plenty of food in our food supply chain,” Perdue said.
But farmers are also concerned. “In the last two weeks, we’ve loss about 60 cents on our corn,” farmer Tim Seifert said. “That puts us below the cost of production. That’s very, very unnerving.”
Seifert an Illinois corn and soybean farmer says the pandemic is a threat to farmers already struggling to rebound after nearly two years of trade fights with China.
“There’s a lot of concern about the future,” Seifert said. “But farmers will produce crops.”
Still, he says farmers are committed to feeding the world, but says if the pandemic continues through harvest, they could be in real trouble.
“That’s kind of scary,” Seifert said. “Let’s just hope and pray it doesn’t get to that.”
Republican Sen. Joni Ernst says Congress is working on a stimulus package to helps all Americans.
“What we need to do is respond,” Ernst said.
The American Farm Bureau Federation says significant challenges lie ahead for the agriculture industry.
The organization is calling on the administration to help, so they can continue supplying food.
“I can assure you USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), under the leadership of President Trump, we’ll be looking after our farmers”
Perdue says the administration is considering extending farmer benefits created during the trade war.
“We’re again communicating with Congress over the needs that we have,” Perdue said.