Last week, after passing both chambers of Congress, President Trump signed a $2.2 trillion emergency stimulus package to offset the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The American Soybean Association’s (ASA) policy team has reviewed the ag components of this package, specifically those of interest to soybean growers.
The aid to agriculture producers includes:
- Rather than a Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) replenishment plus increase as requested by many farm groups, a $14 billion CCC replenishment only has been provided. Recall that the Market Facilitation Program in 2019 was authorized up to $14.5 billion, and approximately $14.3 billion has been paid out to date.
- A separate funding stream of $9.5 billion has been provided to USDA, “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus by providing support for agricultural producers impacted by coronavirus, including producers of specialty crops, producers that supply local food systems, including farmers markets, restaurants, and schools, and livestock producers, including dairy producers.”
- An extension of the term of the non-recourse marketing loan has been provided, increased from the usual nine-month term to a 12-month term.
- Rural broadband language is included.
- The ASA team was asked to weigh in with negotiators to ensure “aquaculture businesses” were eligible for assistance made available through the Department of Commerce. This language has been included.
The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) will continue to keep Minnesota’s nearly 28,000 soybean farmers abreast of any more agriculture news related to the pandemic.