Farm earnings are broadly expected to ease this year, although USDA's latest farm income forecast projects skyrocketing prices for key commodities will help offset a steep drop in government payments and increases in production costs.
Farmers are getting new options to cover differences in farming practices and crops, and many growers will be able for the first time this year to buy an endorsement to cover a portion of their deductibles.
The outgoing Trump administration is tapping unspent USDA funding to provide coronavirus relief to contract producers for the first time while providing supplemental payments to hog farms. USDA also is adjusting payments calculations for many producers who have already received Coronavirus Food Assistance Program payments.
EPA’s spending bill approved last month continued to fund the agency at a level well above the Trump administration’s request, providing $9.24 billion for fiscal 2021, just $180 million above fiscal 2020 but 29% higher than what the administration asked for.
Leading farm groups united with two major environmental groups to release on Tuesday more than 40 policy proposals aimed at helping farmers benefit economically from reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions while helping growers become more resilient amid climate change.
Since COVID-19 disrupted the meat supply chain in the spring, there has been a growing consensus between Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill that the meat processing industry needs more competition, but that comes with a few barriers.
A key senator involved in developing the Republican coronavirus relief package for farmers defended the broad authority it gives to USDA to spend $20 billion in farm aid, but he said the Trump administration likely will need to provide assurances about how the money will be spent.
As coronavirus cases rise across the country, ag economists expect producers could face headwinds such as volatility and uncertainty in demand for their products for the remainder of the year and into 2021.