More than $90 billion in agriculture spending, including a 50% increase in conservation program funding, is at stake as congressional Democrats wrangle over how to pare back their $3.5 trillion Build Back Better bill to woo critical moderate votes.
Advocates for minority farmers say historical discrimination justifies providing payments totaling 120% of debt held by “socially disadvantaged” farmers, as approved by the House Agriculture Committee in its $16.1 billion COVID relief package, part of a larger $1.9 trillion relief bill to be considered by the full House of Representatives.
The Trump administration is unlikely to make a needed fix to tax regulations for farmer co-operatives, leaving many growers at risk of seeing higher tax bills, according to the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives.
A recent State Department move is expected to speed approval of farmworkers seeking to enter the country, but observers of the process are still keeping a watchful eye on many parts of the H-2A program.
The Trump administration has labeled agriculture as a critical industry in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, allowing businesses to continue operating as usual amid current and potential restrictions created to stem the spread of the virus.