USDA announces $12 billion in pandemic aid, aims for ‘a broader set of producers’ – March 25, 2021

USDA announces $ 12 billion in pandemic aid, aims for ‘a broader set of producers’

Following through on pledges of more equitable aid to agriculture, the Biden administration has created a new Pandemic Assistance for Producers program to distribute more than $ 12 billion in cash. It said on Wednesday that it wants to “reach a broader set of producers” than in previous Covid-19 aid programs.

Large ag exports to China create risk for U.S., says FCA chief

U.S. agriculture is running the risk of becoming overly reliant on large exports to China just over a year after Washington and Beijing de-escalated their trade war, said the head of the Farm Credit Administration on Wednesday.

New map shows which states are vaccinating food workers

As the Covid-19 vaccine becomes more widely available, the workers who pick, pack, process, sell, and serve our food have been placed in a range of vaccination priority groups. With AG Insider’s new map, you can search to see where these workers are currently eligible to be vaccinated and, where they’re not, when they will become eligible.

Today’s Quick Hits

ABAWD rule is dead: With permission from the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., the USDA withdrew an appeal in support of a Trump-era proposal for stricter time limits on SNAP benefits to able-bodied adults without dependents who don’t work at least 20 hours a week. (USDA)

Water shortages loom: California appears to be headed into drought after scanty precipitation during its usual rainy season, meaning farmers and cities should prepare for potential water shortages this summer, said state and federal officials. (Sacramento Bee)

Hunger threat rises: Acute hunger could soar in 20 countries, mostly in Africa but stretching from the Caribbean to Asia, without international food aid to offset the effects of war and the pandemic. (FAO)

Milk plants sold: Dairy Farmers of America, the country’s largest dairy cooperative, sold two milk processing plants, in Illinois and Wisconsin, formerly owned by Dean Foods, to a partnership of New Borden and Select Milk Producers. (Capstone Headwaters)

Meat competition intensifies: Plant-based meats will be price-competitive with animal products by 2023, and alternative proteins could capture 11 percent of the global protein market by 2035, said analysts. (Guardian)

America’s Farm Report