New Year, New COVID-19 Relief

Dec 29, 2020

Better late than never, America’s $900 billion stimulus package was gifted via President Trump’s signature on Sunday evening.

This was no sure bet. Even after gaining bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, President Trump took to Twitter last Tuesday and didn’t mince words. His take: the 5,600-page bill was a ‘disgrace.’

But with a government shutdown looming and his Republican allies amping up pressure, Trump caved and signed the bill.

So what does this mean for the ag world? Let’s dive in.

Big picture: $13 billion, about 1.4% of the entire package, is headed to food and agriculture. Most of that will flow from the Secretary of Ag’s office, a similar set up to prior COVID-19 relief programs.

The deets on the deal:

→ $20-per-acre payments for row crop growers, estimated to collectively top $5 billion
→ $3 billion for livestock farmers who euthanized animals due to supply chain snafus and canceled contracts
→ $870 million for dairy producers via the Dairy Margin Coverage program
Other line items to note were $225 million to specialty crop producers, a 15% bump in SNAP benefits, and $300 million to aid fisheries.

What’s next: It has been a record year for agriculture aid with a final tab landing north of $50 billion. 2021 will begin with a sprint to get this new cash in producers’ pockets.