Congressional leaders have reached agreement on a $2 trillion economic rescue package that would replenish the Agriculture Department’s Commodity Credit Corp. authority and earmark additional money for livestock and specialty crop producers as well as local agriculture.
A massive economic stimulus bill that congressional leaders are rushing to finish could allow the Agriculture Department to provide multiple forms of aid to different sectors hit by the coronavirus epidemic as well as a fresh round of Market Facilitation Program payments, a key senator says.
Lawmakers may clear the way for another round of Market Facilitation Program payments as well as other aid to producers as part of a massive economic stimulus package that the Senate is expected to consider on Monday.
The Market Facilitation Program has made a significant difference in liquidity for many farms across the country, including Midwest grain operations as well as cotton and rice growers, but many farms are still likely to end this year with negative ending cash, according to an analysis of the trade assistance.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says there is less than a 10% chance that farmers will get more Market Facilitation Program payments this year and that China is sending “signals” it intends to honor its pledges to ramp up purchases of U.S. farm commodities.
Amid all the uncertainty farmers are facing this spring, they're now getting hit by a drop in crop insurance price guarantees. In response, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue briefly raised the possibility USDA could allow producers to increase coverage.
The biofuel industry is eagerly anticipating a decision from the Trump administration on future small refinery exemptions this week, while Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue heads to Capitol Hill for a grilling on the Market Facilitation Program, food stamps and other issues.