The government will send up to $50 million to hog farmers who were forced to sell hogs at pandemic-depressed prices on the spot market during the summer of 2020, said the Agriculture Department on Monday. The announcement came a month after the USDA said it was disbursing $270 million to contract growers of hogs and poultry through its Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the administration appeared "very close" to releasing a long-promised $700 million in pandemic aid to biofuel producers. The aid was announced in March as part of a remodeling of coronavirus relief programs by the incoming administration.
The USDA will pro-rate its final round of pandemic payments to timber harvesters and haulers to stay within the $200 million limit for the aid program, officials said on Thursday. Meanwhile, USDA data showed disbursements of $6.98 billion in coronavirus relief to farmers and ranchers this year.
To reduce food waste and help feed hungry Americans, the USDA will spend an estimated $400 million to reimburse dairy organizations for donating products to food banks, said Deputy Agriculture Secretary Jewel Bronaugh on Wednesday. The donation program was the second component of pandemic relief to dairy farmers that would total $2 billion this year.
In an expansion of its pandemic portfolio, the Biden administration said it would pay an estimated $350 million to dairy farmers to offset lower milk prices caused by market abnormalities during the second half of 2020. The payments will benefit farms with smaller herds the most.
With Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s announcement of coronavirus aid to logging and timber hauling businesses, the USDA will near $7.4 billion in allotments of pandemic assistance since the Biden administration put its mark on the relief programs. The aid ranges from “top …