USDA budgeted $16 billion for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program and hasn’t paid out anywhere close to that amount yet. But USDA says in a statement to Agri-Pulse the department will save any unused funds to help provide farmer assistance during the “remainder of 2020 and into 2021.”
Senate Republicans unveiled a coronavirus relief package Monday that would give the Agriculture Department broad authority to spend an additional $20 billion to compensate agricultural producers and processors for the impact of the pandemic.
Farm groups and their Senate allies are making their final pitches to Capitol Hill for billions in additional aid as lawmakers look to pass what is expected to be the last major coronavirus relief package this year.
The Agriculture Department is making dozens of additional fruits, vegetables and herbs eligible for payments under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program and expanding benefits for some other commodities.
The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a landmark hearing this week on a bipartisan plan to accelerate the development of agricultural carbon markets, and the panel also is set to act on a measure to reauthorize federal grain standards and export inspections.
Producers across the country are enrolling in the USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, and they’re doing so with the help of employees that are either teleworking or back in the office for the first time in months.
The U.S. Apple Association, joined by the California Apple Commission and several other trade associations, are urging USDA to reconsider how it is funding growers for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.