80% of Coronavirus Food Assistance program paid, remaining 20% expected soon
ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) - Under the terms of the Coronavirus Food Assistance program, farmers around the country were to share $16 billion in aid to help them get through the pandemic. 80% of that money went out in July and now, Bill Northey, Undersecretary of Agriculture for Farm Production says farmers can expect the other 20% by the end of August. Northey also told the media a new, expanded round of financial aid to farmers could be announced very soon.
USDA officials have also made some specialty crop producers happy. They are now saying crops like apples, blueberries, garlic, potatoes, raspberries, tangerines and taro will get expanded benefits from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program because those crops saw a price drop that was 5% greater between mid-January and mid-October. Producers of those crops can start signing up now for those added benefits.
The condition of both the corn and soybeans crops fell slightly last week as drier weather has covered much of the Corn Belt. According to this week’s Crop Progress Report, corn is now rated 69% good to excellent across the country-down 2% from last week but still the 4th best ever for this time in July. The biggest drops in condition were in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Nebraska and Iowa. That report also shows 29% of the corn has now silked across the country-15% ahead of last year. Soybeans are rated 68% good to excellent this week-down 3% from last week with the biggest condition drops this week coming from Ohio, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota.
Wisconsin had some gains in the condition of both the corn and soybean crops. Corn is rated 81% good to excellent this week-up 2% from last week’s ratings. And 10% of the crop has silked-9 days ahead of last year. Soybeans are rated 83% good to excellent across the state this week-up 4% from a week ago. The report also says 61% of the beans are blooming and 13% of the plants are setting pods-almost 2 weeks ahead of last year. State farmers also report 93% of their oats have headed and the crop is rated 83% good to excellent this week. The hay crop is also looking good as it’s rated 76% good to excellent as state farmers have put up 62% of their second hay crop-about 9 days ahead of last year. Topsoil moisture this week is rated 90% adequate to surplus.
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