As Congress earmarks aid for ag, farm groups say more may be needed
Farmers and ranchers would see $23.5 billion in aid under the coronavirus bill agreed on by the Senate and the Trump administration on Wednesday. The two largest U.S. farm groups welcomed the aid but said more may be needed to survive the looming economic slowdown.
Meat prices spike, cattle prices fall, and ranchers and lawmakers see market manipulation
Wholesale beef prices have jumped to record levels, as shoppers stockpile meat in response to the global coronavirus pandemic. But this run on beef isn’t helping cattle ranchers. On the contrary, cattle prices have plummeted since January, putting many ranchers on the brink of collapse. “It’s never been worse. The futures market is crashing … and box beef prices are skyrocketing. It’s nuts,” says rancher Mike Callicrate of St. Francis, Kansas.
SNAP tabbed for $15.5 billion increase to handle coronavirus needs
Senate and Trump administration negotiators agreed on a $15.5 billion increase in SNAP funding on Wednesday to pay for growing enrollment due to the coronavirus pandemic, but they rejected a request by anti-hunger groups for higher benefits. The relief package includes $8.8 billion for child nutrition and $450 million for the government to buy and donate food to food banks.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Influential chef dies from Covid-19 (Eater): The acclaimed New York City chef Floyd Cardoz died Wednesday from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
Farmers want more trade war payments (Agri-Pulse): In a poll showing landslide support for the re-election of President Trump, 62 percent of farmers said they were “somewhat” or “very” concerned about their ability to repay loans this year, and 79 percent said it was important for the government to issue trade war payments for the third year in a row.
Farmworker safety and coronavirus (KQED): Farming and food production are considered “essential” businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, and agricultural employers “are having a hard time navigating advice from public health officials on how to keep workers safe.”
Biofuel groups hail non-appeal (DTN/Progressive Farmer): Three small refiners are appealing a federal circuit court ruling that would limit the EPA’s power to issue waivers from the Renewable Fuel Standard, although the Trump administration will not file its own appeal.
Slower rise in restaurant prices (USDA): Prices are forecast to rise by a much lower-than-average 2 percent this year for “food away from home,” a category that includes restaurants, take-away food, and institutional meals, said the monthly Food Price Outlook.