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USDA Announces Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

On April 17, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue unveiled the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. This new program takes several actions to assist farmers, ranchers, and consumers in response to the COVID-19 national emergency. President Donald Trump directed USDA to craft this $19 billion immediate relief program to provide critical support to producers, maintain the integrity of the food supply chain and ensure every American continues to receive and have access to food.
 
Areas of the program that are of particular interest to the dry bean industry include:
  • The program will provide $16 billion in direct support based on actual losses for agricultural producers where prices and market supply chains have been impacted and will assist producers with additional adjustment and marketing costs resulting from lost demand and short-term oversupply for the 2020 marketing year caused by COVID-19.
  • USDA has up to an additional $873.3 million available in Section 32 funding to purchase a variety of agricultural products for distribution to food banks. The use of these funds will be determined by industry requests, USDA agricultural market analysis and food bank needs.
 
The full details are available in this USDA press release.