USDA offers $1 billion in pandemic aid to contract growers – August 25, 2021

USDA offers $1 billion in pandemic aid to contract growers

Nearly seven months after it froze a Trump-era plan, the Biden administration said on Tuesday that up to $1 billion was available to contract growers of pigs and poultry to offset revenue lost to the pandemic in 2020. With the announcement, the USDA has committed more than $8 billion in pandemic aid to farmers and ranchers since March.

Early warning system for zoonotic diseases

The USDA will boost its surveillance among animals for diseases such as Covid-19 and create an early warning system against zoonotic diseases that threaten people and animals alike, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Tuesday. Early detection could prevent or limit the spread of the diseases.

Today’s Quick Hits

Walker runs in Georgia: Former football star Herschel Walker, backed by former President Trump, filed as a candidate for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. (Associated Press)

Getting to net-zero: Ethanol plants can report net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases by the end of this decade if they get on board with a plan to capture and ship their carbon emissions via pipeline to be injected into geologic formations hundreds of miles away. (DTN/Progressive Farmer)

Debt relief dilemma: With three federal court injunctions against a $4 billion program of debt relief for minority farmers, the Biden administration has two options – risk further setbacks in court or ask Congress to enact a new loan forgiveness plan. (Politico)

Erosion at the bank: A third or more of the phosphorous in Iowa’s waterways comes from eroding stream banks. That works out to a long-term average of 7,680 tonnes a year of the plant nutrient that also is a factor in the “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico. (Iowa State University)

Pleading for a lower RFS: Seventeen Republican senators asked the EPA to waive or significantly reduce the volume requirements for the Renewable Fuel Standard to levels that “reflect reality.” They sought the action to prevent “financial hardship for consumers and protect the continued viability of U.S. refineries.” (Sen. Toomey)

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