Pandemic tops trade war in USDA payments to farmers – January 5, 2020

Pandemic tops trade war in USDA payments to farmers

In less than nine months, U.S. farmers and ranchers have collected a mammoth $ 23.5 billion in pandemic relief payments, said the USDA on Monday, more than matching the $ 23 billion spent by the Trump administration to mitigate the impact on agriculture of trade war with China.

Trump administration revives the food-box giveaway

The Trump administration will spend $ 1.5 billion on a fifth round of the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, drawing on money from the latest coronavirus relief package, said the USDA on Monday.

February deadline proposed for RFS ‘hardship’ waiver

In a Federal Register notice, the EPA said it would decide by Feb. 19 whether to approve a 2019 request by a small Pennsylvania oil refiner for an exemption from the ethanol mandate.


Nearly 78,000 Covid cases in food chain: At least 349 workers at meat plants, in food processing plants and on farms have died of Covid-19 and at least 77,733 have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to data collected by the Food and Environment Reporting Network as of Monday at mid-day. (FERN)

Child labor on palm oil plantations: Tens of thousands of children are believed to work alongside their parents in palm oil plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia, for little pay and at risk of exposure to toxic chemicals. (Associated Press)

Tyson not shielded in Covid death: A U.S. district judge ruled that Tyson Foods cannot defend itself in the Covid-19 death of a worker by saying it was required by the government to keep the plant operating, because the worker died before President Trump signed the executive order. (Des Moines Register)

NGFA names Seyfert as leader: Mike Seyfert, a former Senate staff worker who is now director of government and industry affairs for FMC Corp., will begin work on March 1 as chief executive of the National Grain and Feed Association. (NGFA)

USDA updates job training for SNAP recipients: A new regulation allows states to subsidize jobs and apprenticeships for SNAP recipients who are enrolled in the program’s own education and training courses. (USDA)

America’s Farm Report