Coronavirus Aid to Agriculture – May 20, 2020

Trump launches coronavirus aid to agriculture, with a $750,000 top payment


The Trump administration modified its $16-billion coronavirus aid program for agriculture so it will be easier for farmers, particularly livestock producers and specialty crop growers, to collect larger payments, to a maximum of $250,000 per person or $750,000 for corporate entities.

Maybe we should cut off cattle imports, says Trump

The United States “should look at the possibility of terminating” trade agreements that allow cattle imports into the country, said President Trump on Tuesday — a suggestion that would almost solely affect Canada and Mexico.


Charting the spread of Covid-19 in the food system

Food industry workers have experienced some of the fastest-growing rates of Covid-19, which we have been closely tracking in the food system since mid-April. Nine charts are used to draw out some trends from that data, including the states with the most severe outbreaks, which companies have the highest number of cases, and what types of plants have experienced the largest outbreaks.


Perdue should resign, says lawmaker (Tulsa World): Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin, who accuses meatpackers of excessive power over cattle prices, said on social media that “it’s time for Sonny Perdue to step down” as agriculture secretary because he’s not doing enough to investigate packers.


Lawsuit over Chesapeake Bay cleanup (Washington Post): Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia say they will sue the EPA for failing to enforce an agreement calling on other states in the Chesapeake Bay basin to reduce water pollution, including agricultural runoff.


Letter on farmworker safety (Merkley): Nine Democratic senators sent a letter to Senate leaders to ask for legislation that will protect farmworkers’ health during the coronavirus pandemic through steps that include hazard pay and implementation of CDC guidelines on workplace safety.


More to ag economy than Covid-19 (Columbia Tribune): “Even if we knew how the COVID-19 crisis would play out, there would still be a lot of uncertainty about farm commodity prices, consumer food prices and farm income in the year ahead,” said the head of the FAPRI think tank.



Beef prices set record (Daily Livestock Report): Retail beef prices averaged $6.22 per pound  — the highest monthly price on record — during April, when Covid-19 slowed operations at cattle slaughter plants.


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