First phase of USDA’s COVID-19 assistance plan expected soon

USDA is reportedly finalizing the first phase of its plan to aid ag producers impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

Reports indicate proposals have been sent to the Office of Management and Budget for review.

Andrew Walmsley with American Farm Bureau tells Brownfield they’re hoping to see the details very soon.

“Hopefully it will be fast-tracked, and we’ll get some details this week—and then, obviously, it will take several weeks for everything to be put in place and for farmers to actually see the benefit of the program,” Walmsley says.

Dozens of commodity groups, representing everything from cattle to strawberries to catfish, have asked USDA for assistance. Walmsley says meeting all those needs will require additional funding by Congress.

“We think this first tranche of payments is going to be key to those that have been directly impacted in the front of this,” he says. “But we believe Congress is going to have to step in with some additional resources.”

Walmsley expects aid to cattle producers to be one of the top priorities of the first phase of USDA assistance.

AUDIO: Andrew Walmsley

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