USDA boosts SNAP by $1 billion a month in poorest households – April 5, 2021

USDA boosts SNAP by $1 billion a month in poorest households

Households with very low incomes will be eligible for an additional $95 a month or more in emergency allotments of food stamps, said the Biden administration. The additional aid to an estimated 25 million people would amount to $1 billion a month nationwide and ends a dispute over pandemic aid that began in the Trump era.


Estate tax touches only a few farm families

Despite its fearsome reputation, only a comparative handful of farm households are obliged to file a federal estate-tax return and most of them will not pay the government any money, said USDA economists. Large tax exemptions — $11.58 million per person in 2020 — shield most estates from tax liability.


Today’s Quick Hits


Dollars or deforestation: Brazil would be able to reduce deforestation in the Amazon by as much as 40 percent if it received $1 billion in aid from other countries, including the United States, said the nation’s environment minister. (Reuters)


Easements on 5 million acres: Enrollment in USDA conservation easement programs has topped 5 million acres, including 110,000 acres signed up since last October. (USDA)


Drought in California: After two parched winters in a row, growers in California’s Central Valley expect sharply smaller water deliveries from federal irrigation projects. Officials are hoping that a 2014 state law will prevent the free-for-all pumping of groundwater that occurred during the previous drought, from 2012-16. (Los Angeles Times)


Cash for needles: Forest owners in the Southeast are making an estimated $200 million a year for raking and baling so-called pine straw, the needles that fall from pine trees, for use in landscaping. (Washington Post)


Added-sugar awareness: In a survey that examined one change to the “Nutrition Facts” label, more than seven out of 10 consumers said they were interested in knowing the amount of added sugars in food, and that they used the information to buy healthier products. (farmdoc Daily)


On The Calendar



World Bank and IMF hold annual meetings online, through Sunday. John Kerry, the U.S. climate envoy, is to speak on Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET.

USDA releases its first Crop Progress report of 2021. The report will be issued weekly until Nov. 29, at the end of the growing season, 4 p.m. ET.


Purdue University issues a monthly Ag Economy Barometer, which provides a sense of the agricultural economy’s health.



USDA releases Hatchery Production Annual report, 3 p.m. ET.



USDA holds a webinar on the opioid epidemic, 1 p.m. ET. Speaker will be David McGranahan, senior economist at the Economic Research Service. The webinar follows release of the USDA report, The opioid epidemic: A geography in two phases. To register for the webinar, click here.

UN Food and Agriculture Organization releases the monthly Food Price Index, measuring the monthly change in international prices for a basket of food commodities, Rome.


USDA releases monthly Crop Production and WASDE reports, noon ET.

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