USDA to spend $19 billion to maintain food supply chains

'President Trump and USDA are standing with our farmers, ranchers, and all citizens to make sure they are taken care of.'

Posted: Apr 17, 2020 7:23 PM
Updated: Apr 18, 2020 1:30 PM

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has created a new program to help farmers, ranchers, and consumers deal with the coronavirus crisis.

The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) will provide $19 billion in immediate relief to maintain the integrity of the food supply chain and ensure every American has access to the food they need.

“During this time of national crisis, President Trump and USDA are standing with our farmers, ranchers, and all citizens to make sure they are taken care of,” says U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue. “The American food supply chain had to adapt, and it remains safe, secure, and strong, and we all know that starts with America’s farmers and ranchers. This program will not only provide immediate relief for our farmers and ranchers, but it will also allow for the purchase and distribution of our agricultural abundance to help our fellow Americans in need.”

CFAP has two major elements:

1. It will provide $16 billion in direct support based on actual losses for agricultural producers where prices and market supply chains have been impacted and will assist producers with additional adjustment and marketing costs resulting from lost demand and short-term oversupply for the 2020 marketing year caused by COVID-19.

2. USDA will partner with regional and local distributors, whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of many restaurants, hotels, and other food service entities, to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat. This will start with the purchase of an estimated $100 million per month in fresh fruits and vegetables, $100 million per month in a variety of dairy products, and $100 million per month in meat products. The distributors and wholesalers will then provide a pre-approved box of fresh produce, dairy, and meat products to food banks, community and faith based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need.

In addition, USDA has up to an additional $873.3 million available in Section 32 funding to purchase a variety of agricultural products for distribution to food banks. Congress has also approved at least $850 million for food bank administrative costs and USDA food purchases, of which a minimum of $600 million will be designated for food purchases.

Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative and the Dairy Business Association issued a statement in response to the USDA’s announcement:

“As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on our economy, millions of Americans cannot afford food, many for the first time in their lives, and our farmers who produce this food are struggling to survive financially. This federal assistance will be a bridge for both.”

“The dedication of our farmers to the well-being of America has never been more evident as our nation combats COVID-19. Day in and day out, they are tirelessly stepping up so that families have safe, wholesome and affordable food.”

“We thank the USDA for supporting us in this critical mission.”

Minnesota Republican Congressman Jim Hagedorn issued this statement:

“The agriculture relief package announced by President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is a much needed first step to help farmers and agri-businesses overcome the pause in our economy due to the coronavirus. I am pleased the Food Assistance Program includes direct food purchases and other solutions I have offered Secretary Perdue over the past several weeks.

“Prior to the coronavirus, southern Minnesota’s farmers and agri-businesses were increasingly optimistic. Passage of the USMCA trade deal, signing of the Phase One pact with China, and new agreements with Japan and other nations were opening up markets and creating demand. Dairy operations were profitable again and farmers were looking forward to our early spring and likely great growing season."

“I appreciate the administration’s intent to purchase $3 billion of meat, dairy and fresh produce for distribution to the American people via food banks and other organizations. This will help feed our neighbors and reduce the short-term excess food supply that is destroying agriculture markets."

“While specific details of the $14.5 billion in Commodity Credit Corporation payments are not yet available, I am hopeful our livestock farmers will be first in line for assistance."

“With restaurants closed and demand for fine cuts of meat dramatically lower, the livestock markets have fallen through the floor. Hog farmers are losing as much as $50 a head, while cattlemen are losing more than $300 per steer. Meanwhile, some packing plants are closed or operating under reduced capacity, which could lead to the destruction of livestock. Make no mistake, livestock operators are on the brink."

“Had Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats not stripped $20 billion in agriculture funding out of the CARES Act, the agriculture package would have been far more substantive. I don’t know what the speaker was thinking, but I do know how her actions have hurt our farmers."

“I support providing additional resources and will work with my House Agriculture Committee colleagues to gain more relief for farmers, who are facing losses through no fault of their own. I will also continue working directly with Secretary Perdue and USDA on my market-based Livestock Risk Protection Plan to mitigate pork and beef losses."

“Sustaining agriculture is critically important to our economy and rural way of life. It is also imperative to maintaining our food supply, which is a matter of national security.”

 

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 895229

Reported Deaths: 9462
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1749772017
Ramsey722701040
Dakota66032572
Anoka62513568
Washington39357355
Stearns32821275
St. Louis28761399
Wright25354211
Scott25329181
Olmsted21750127
Sherburne18478126
Carver1629166
Clay11923103
Blue Earth1126366
Rice11234138
Crow Wing11003122
Chisago974676
Kandiyohi9660106
Otter Tail9611126
Benton8815124
Beltrami801794
Goodhue786596
Douglas7689100
Itasca752796
Mower721349
Winona702756
McLeod694483
Isanti681383
Steele669431
Morrison663479
Becker620873
Polk591684
Freeborn550846
Carlton529474
Nobles521654
Lyon518761
Mille Lacs516573
Nicollet510960
Pine500641
Cass491252
Todd483642
Brown465057
Le Sueur445933
Meeker422357
Martin378143
Wabasha366010
Waseca365132
Dodge351511
Hubbard349848
Roseau307931
Fillmore299115
Wadena298239
Redwood277845
Houston266817
Renville264151
Faribault253032
Pennington247529
Sibley246917
Kanabec241536
Cottonwood225032
Chippewa216342
Aitkin215850
Pope203210
Watonwan194920
Yellow Medicine185423
Rock174728
Swift169322
Koochiching168123
Stevens164511
Jackson159216
Clearwater155720
Marshall151122
Murray150911
Pipestone148329
Lake129824
Lac qui Parle120025
Wilkin119416
Mahnomen104714
Norman10389
Grant9719
Big Stone9365
Lincoln8705
Kittson71523
Red Lake70710
Traverse5996
Unassigned572124
Lake of the Woods5235
Cook3020

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 516453

Reported Deaths: 7289
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk80319799
Linn32142424
Scott26637292
Black Hawk21974378
Woodbury20490258
Johnson19778105
Dubuque18515241
Pottawattamie15890213
Dallas15320113
Story1380258
Warren8450104
Cerro Gordo7964123
Clinton7725114
Webster7326122
Des Moines7098105
Marshall669093
Muscatine6645117
Wapello6441144
Jasper619591
Sioux610177
Lee5908105
Marion557897
Buena Vista502149
Plymouth488388
Henry418655
Benton404859
Jones404862
Bremer395372
Washington391463
Boone389739
Carroll367755
Mahaska365365
Crawford353747
Dickinson314655
Jackson307747
Buchanan305741
Clay295536
Delaware294654
Kossuth289077
Fayette286353
Hardin284353
Tama279777
Page272533
Wright266149
Cedar265527
Hamilton259857
Winneshiek258143
Floyd255449
Clayton244459
Poweshiek237243
Madison234525
Harrison234379
Cass233466
Butler232744
Iowa229634
Jefferson223043
Mills220930
Winnebago215938
Hancock214639
Cherokee211347
Lyon206142
Appanoose205357
Allamakee203955
Calhoun196919
Shelby196442
Union191141
Humboldt185130
Grundy183637
Franklin183029
Mitchell182043
Chickasaw178922
Emmet178246
Louisa176953
Sac171026
Guthrie168137
Montgomery161745
Clarke160829
Keokuk150839
Palo Alto150532
Howard146824
Monroe142739
Ida130141
Greene127517
Davis124625
Lucas124426
Monona122939
Worth12139
Pocahontas120724
Adair114337
Osceola104818
Decatur101913
Taylor98514
Fremont95913
Van Buren93222
Wayne84525
Ringgold76729
Audubon74917
Adams5748
Unassigned480
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