Agriculture

Ag Pandemic Relief Details – DTN – AgFax

Biofuel producers split $ 700 million in aid funding due to loss of pandemic production, and USDA announced more relief funds on Tuesday, so livestock producers left behind from previous aid will also see some aid Probably.

It also includes funding for livestock producers who were forced to euthanize animals during the outage of the pandemic in the spring of 2020 and the capacity reduction of packaging plants.

US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Billsack As part of the USDA Pandemic Producer Assistance Initiative, we announced additional assistance to agricultural producers and businesses. This assistance will begin to be rolled out to producers and businesses over the next 60 days, including support for biofuel producers, the timber industry, dairy farmers, livestock producers, contract poultry producers, and the cost of organic conversion. ..

“USDA respects its commitment to financial assistance to producers and important agribusiness, especially those left behind or underserved by previous COVID aid,” said Billsack. Said.

“These investments through USDA pandemic support will help our food, agriculture and forestry sectors get back on track and plan for the future. Since January, USDA has been directly to producers and the food and agriculture business. We have provided over $ 11 billion in support. “

The latest relief package will be funded from the $ 6 billion USDA announced in March and will be reserved for multiple initiatives. Funding comes from aid and relief bills passed in March last year and December last year.

Of the major funding details announced on Tuesday, $ 700 million will be sent to biofuel producers. The ethanol industry sought help last year as demand for liquid fuel plummeted during the government’s closure. Jeff Cooper, president and chief executive officer of the Renewable Fuels Association, said the group was happy with the announcement on Tuesday and that the bailout will take place in the next two months.

“This support has come at a very important time, as ethanol producers are still struggling to recover from COVID-related market losses and are now facing historically high raw material costs. The plant remains offline or is running at a reduced output rate. We look forward to receiving program details from USDA and would like to work with departments to ensure a smooth and successful implementation. “We do,” said Cooper.

An additional $ 700 million will be spent on agriculture and food processing to offset the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE) paid to “special crop producers, meat packers and processors, fisheries workers, etc.” Useful for.

Supplementary Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) is $ 580 million for small and medium-sized dairy farms. A new dairy donation program dealing with food insecurity and food waste will also receive $ 400 million. Small family-owned timber businesses will also be funded with $ 200 million.

USDA did not specify how much money would be reserved to support livestock producers or contract poultry producers who were excluded from previous pandemic assistance. Another area of ​​unknown support is support for livestock and poultry producers who were forced to euthanize animals during the pandemic from March 1, 2020 to December 26, 2020.

An additional $ 20 million will go to organic cost-sharing support, including producers moving to organic.

Rob Larue, The President of the National Farmers’ Union said that the new aid round will be for farmers and livestock producers who missed the previous aid round, especially for the first, socially disadvantaged and most needed small and medium-sized producers. He said it would help fill the gap.

“As more and more Americans get vaccinated, things are slowly returning to normal, but many businesses, including farms and ranches, still feel the protracted economic consequences of a pandemic,” Larew said. Told.

“Thanks to USDA’s efforts to provide family-owned farmers with the help they need to maintain solvents through market and supply chain disruptions through this crisis. Additional support announced today. Along with last week’s news about the Build Back Better project, will help offset the remaining losses and begin laying the foundation for a safer, more competitive and resilient food system. “

USDA is already financing and subsidizing investments to be more resilient to shocks, provide greater value to producers and workers, and provide consumers with an affordable selection of health foods. Announced $ 5 billion in a combination of gold and innovative financing. The USDA states that it is procured locally and locally by farmers and processors of diverse backgrounds.

“We should do more to build a better food system, strengthen our supply chain, and ensure that American agriculture gives our farming and ranch families every opportunity to lead a good life. There are times, “said Billsack. “As the economy continues to recover, the USDA guarantees that American agriculture is ready to seize the moment.”

Since USDA launched the Pandemic Assistance Initiative in March, the Department of Agriculture has announced approximately $ 6.8 billion in aid to producers and agricultural organizations (Parts II and III). Most of it, about $ 6.3 billion, is the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.

Apart from last week, the USDA will release more than $ 1 billion in aid to farmers and livestock producers waiting to pay for Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) and Wildfire and Hurricane Compensation Program Plus (WHIP-Plus). Also announced. With payments for the next few weeks, payments will begin today, June 15th. (Here).

Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN

https://agfax.com/2021/06/16/more-ag-pandemic-relief-details-dtn/ Ag Pandemic Relief Details – DTN – AgFax

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