Coronavirus payments to farmers near $18 billion

The Trump administration wrote $7.6 billion in coronavirus checks to farmers in the past four weeks, pushing the total for relief payments to nearly $18 billion since the pandemic struck in the spring. The payments account for half of the record-large federal supports being paid to agriculture …

USDA extends food-box giveaway through Dec. 31

The Trump administration put an additional $500 million into the Farmers to Families Food Box, allowing the stopgap hunger-relief program will run through the end of the year. More than 110 million of the boxes have been delivered but the program has faced charges of inequitable distribution of aid.

Federal payments offset declines in farm revenue

Government payments have improved the outlook for farm finances, but like the general economy, that outlook remains highly uncertain amid the pandemic, said a Federal Reserve report on Thursday.

USDA pays $1.5 billion a week in coronavirus relief

In just three weeks, the USDA sent $4.52 billion to farmers and ranchers through its new coronavirus relief program, data released on Tuesday show. More than $4 of every $10 disbursed by the so-called CFAP2 went to corn and soybean growers, concentrated in the Midwest.

Farmers get $1.96 billion from new coronavirus program

In the two weeks since the USDA began accepting applications for coronavirus relief, it has paid $1.96 billion to farmers and ranchers through the so-called CFAP2, according to data released on Thursday. The average payment was $20,639 on the 94,959 applications approved for assistance.

How high could farm subsidies go? $40 billion this year.

If farm subsidies were a crop, this year’s payments would fit the hoary rural adage, “big crops get bigger.” USDA supports, already forecast to set a record, could exceed $40 billion this year, thanks to the second round of coronavirus relief now available to farmers and …

Peterson, four House ag panelists oppose coronavirus bill

The Democratic-controlled House passed a $2.2-trillion-coronavirus-relief bill without the support of House Agriculture chairman Collin Peterson and four other Democrats serving on the Agriculture Committee. They were among 18 Democrats who voted against the bill, which passed, 218-207; no Republicans voted for it.

SNAP enrollment surges by 17 percent during pandemic

Some 6 million to 7 million people have joined the food stamp program since the coronavirus pandemic and the accompanying economic recession hit the United States last spring, a growth rate for SNAP never seen before, said the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The think tank said enrollment exceeds 43 million people and is the highest since October 2017.

Senate passes funding bill, House slows pace on coronavirus

On an 84-10 roll call vote, senators passed a short-term funding bill to keep the government open until Dec. 11, well after the November general election. Meanwhile, House Democrats delayed a vote on a $2.2 trillion coronavirus package that would increase SNAP benefits by 15 percent for one year and offer billions of dollars of additional assistance to farmers and ranchers.

USDA creates a food gap in P-EBT, say House Democrats

Congress created the P-EBT program early this year to help low-income parents buy food for their school-age children during coronavirus closures. Two high-ranking House Democrats said on Thursday the USDA would cut off benefits to students at schools that begin classes later than usual because of the pandemic.