Lawmakers are asking USDA to help cattle producers as the industry experiences a decline in commodity prices. One option being considered is a bill directing Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to use Commodity Credit Corporation funds to offset the losses cattle producers take in the live and feeder cattle markets. Minnesota Senator Tina Smith and South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds are two sponsors of the bill. “We’re talking about using funds within the CCC, but we’re also talking about adding additional funds into it,” said Rounds. “We’re not trying to limit what would also be available when the time comes for other market assistance that could be funded as well.” A group of lawmakers including North Dakota Senators Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven sent a letter to Secretary Perdue, asking him to make a one-time emergency payment to help beef cattle producers. “Our efforts would use existing Department of Agriculture resources to protect our cattle producers from the consequences of the pandemic,” said Cramer. The senators indicate the producer payments would be made on a per-head rate applied to the fair market value as determined by the USDA chief economist. This would be structured similarly to current programs like the Livestock Indemnity Program or the Market Facilitation Program. Listen to the story.