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.
Farmers can start enrolling next week for $16 billion in coronavirus relief payments, but the Agriculture Department has decided to prorate the aid to ensure there is enough money to go around, Agri-Pulse has learned.
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.
Almost overnight specialty crop producers changed the way they operated by staggering work times, increasing shuttle transports, and providing educational training to keep employees safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.
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.