Producers in the central United States are being buoyed by a recent uptick in commodity prices and a swell of government payments, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City noted in a quarterly report Thursday, but some bankers are still worried.
Democratic congressional leaders refused to allow replenishment of a key Agriculture Department account, charging that the White House is employing it as a “political slush fund.” Senate Republicans quickly criticized the measure.
The increase in payment limits for the 2019 version of the Market Facilitation Program allowed large farming operations to collect an additional $519 million over the 2018 program, the Government Accountability Office says.
The Trump administration is handing out so much money to farmers that the United States will blow through its spending limit under World Trade Organization rules for 2019 and likely 2020, potentially exposing U.S. farm programs to legal challenges, according to a new analysis.
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.