March 25, 2020

Senate Rescue Bill Includes $9.5 Billion for Farmers Impacted by Covid-19

 |  By: Jim Wiesemeyer

Congressional sources confirm that the Senate rescue package includes $14 billion to replenish USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and provides $9.5 billion for ag producers impacted by Covid-19, including livestock and specialty crops (fruit, veggies and nuts).

The CCC currently has about $9 billion to use. So, this brings CCC borrowing authority to $32.5 billion — not the $50 billion asked for and cited previously by Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), but above the $30 billion normally available. However, the $9.5 billion “is a different pot of money,” one source said.

The Congressional aid package does not include re-opening the Dairy Margin Coverage program as requested by NMPF. A congressional aid says USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue also does not have the authority to open it on his own, but must wait for Congress to do so. Note: Only about 13,000 dairy farmers signed up for DMC coverage in 2020, some 10,000 fewer than last year. Still, about 55% of annual milk production is covered, though much of that coverage is at catastrophic levels.

This is a developing story.