China is continuing to live up to its purchase promises under the “phase one” trade deal, buying up 567,000 metric tons of U.S. corn, according to new export sales announced Friday by the USDA. Most of it — 504,000 tons — is for delivery in the 2020-21 marketing year, while 63,000 tons are for delivery in the current 2019-20 marketing year.
Help is on the way to small businesses across the country, including farms and other ag employers. The Small Business Administration has released rules for a landmark $349 billion forgivable loan program funded by the $2 trillion economic stimulus bill.
China’s decision in November to lift its ban on U.S. poultry and the subsequent “phase one” trade deal are already boosting U.S. exports for American pet food products and sales to the Chinese market are expected to grow exponentially, spurring hundreds of millions of dollars in sales.
Economists already were predicting that 2020 would be another tough year for the farm economy even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and oil prices plunge. Now, a top farm economist who’s advising USDA says he expects the pandemic to have a “very large” impact on farm income.
Now that President Donald Trump has signed the historic $2 trillion economic relief package into law, work now turns to getting the money out as quickly as possible. “This doesn’t do anybody any good if it takes a long time,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on CBS Face the Nation on Sunday.