Cattle, dairy and hog producers as well as corn and soybean growers are expected to collect the largest shares of USDA’s $16 billion in coronavirus relief payments, which are designed to compensate for losses in sales or market value between January and April.
Farm groups are awaiting the release any day of USDA’s requirements for $16 billion in direct payments to compensate producers for the market losses caused by the coronavirus crisis. OMB completed its review of the planned program on Friday.
House Democrats released a massive new coronavirus relief bill that would provide $16.5 billion in additional direct payments to farmers and authorize USDA to compensate producers who have to dispose of livestock and poultry that can’t be sold because of processing disruptions.
USDA’s $19 billion COVID-19 aid package for farmers may fall well short of compensating producers for the estimated damage of the pandemic, and the department has an ambitious and novel plan to distribute USDA-purchased commodities to needy people.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says USDA wants to provide relief from the COVID-19 crisis to eligible farm sectors “sooner rather than later,” but the department will have to wait until this summer at the earliest to distribute an additional $14 billion in aid.
Produce industry groups are asking the Agriculture Department for up to $5 billion in payments to compensate growers and dealers for losses they suffered when restaurants, schools and colleges suddenly closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The American Farm Bureau Federation delivers the Trump administration a detailed list of requests to swiftly use its authority under the $2 trillion economic stimulus package to rescue “all sectors of agriculture” from the twin blows of plunging commodity prices and the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Trump administration plan to reduce the amount of fruit and some vegetables such as carrots that schools must serve to kids has alarmed nutrition advocates, many lawmakers and two former agriculture secretaries.