Biden administration to oversee new coronavirus payments to farmers

Considering the time needed to convert legislation into action, the Biden administration will oversee the payment of most or all of the $13 billion in agricultural aid that was included in the latest coronavirus package, said Agriculture Undersecretary Bill Northey on Tuesday. Still, there was a chance that some funds could flow before the end of January, or even before the change in the administration on Jan. 20, Northey said during a news conference.

Record-high ag subsidies to supply 39 percent of farm income

Despite the effects of the pandemic and the trade war, U.S. farm income this year will be the highest since 2013 because of the largest federal payments ever — $46.5 billion, triple the usual amount, the government said on Wednesday. Think tank analysts said farm income would fall in 2021 with the expiration of Trump-era bailouts, but the drop-off will be lessened by the ongoing rally in commodity prices and increased ag exports.

USDA exempts family farms from limit on farm subsidy recipients

In a reversal, the USDA said on Wednesday that family-run farms are not subject to a rule that tightens eligibility standards for crop subsidies — the opposite of what it announced three months ago. A small-farm advocate criticized the "correction," which applies to the bulk of U.S. farms, as a violation of the rule-making process and encouraged the incoming Biden administration to void it.

Farm income cushion for 2021: Higher commodity prices

Crop and livestock prices have rebounded from coronavirus lows last spring and could bolster farm income as massive federal payments recede in 2021, said economists at a farm conference on Monday. Cortney Cowley of the Kansas City Federal Reserve cautioned “the path of this recovery is …

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 …

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.

Federal funding barrier: Billions more for farmers

President Trump wants a pre-election slush fund of up to $30 billion at USDA that he can spend with no strings attached, said the senior Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee on Monday as agricultural aid blossomed into a potential roadblock for a government funding bill. Republicans …

‘Trump bump’ in farm income to disappear in 2021

U.S. farm income, buoyed by record-setting farm subsidies this year, will sink in the new year with the disappearance of government payments to buffer the effects of the trade war and the coronavirus pandemic on agriculture, said the FAPRI think tank on Thursday. Farm groups and their allies in Congress are likely to seek billions of dollars in new federal assistance, said analysts.

Highest farm income in seven years, thanks to record-setting federal aid

The Trump administration is showering U.S. agriculture with the largest farm supports ever, an estimated $37 billion, chiefly through stopgap programs to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, said the Agriculture Department on Wednesday. As a result, farm income in 2020 would be the highest in seven years.

Coronavirus darkens income prospects for grain farmers

Seven weeks ago, the USDA forecast the highest U.S. net farm income since 2013. Since then, the coronavirus pandemic has driven down grain prices and “reduced (the) grain farm income outlook for 2020,” wrote five university economists on Tuesday. “Given current expected …