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.
The American Farm Bureau Federation delivers the Trump administration a detailed list of requests to swiftly use its authority under the $2 trillion economic stimulus package to rescue “all sectors of agriculture” from the twin blows of plunging commodity prices and the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.