Second Coronavirus Food Assistance program still waiting for go-ahead

Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 8:20 AM CDT
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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) - The second Coronavirus Food Assistance program is still not a done deal as USDA officials wait for the go ahead on the program from the Office of Management and Budget. The one thing we do know about the program is that payments in the second program will use revenue as the base rather than prices. We also know that it will cover farm losses from April 15th through the end of the year.

When President Trump put heavy tariffs on many foreign imports at the start of his presidency, his administration set up the Market Facilitation Program for farmers to help offset their losses from countries that retaliated against our products with their own tariffs. Now a new government report shows Southern farmers got a lot more money from that program than farmers in other parts of the country. Individual farmers in Georgia did the best. They had over seventy three hundred farmers get an average payment of $42,545-more than double the national average payment of $16,507 for the remaining 870,000 farmers who got program checks. And the South dominated in getting the most money as the top states were Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas and Illinois.

Last Friday’s September Crop Estimates Report lowered the size of the corn and soybean crops across the country from the August numbers, but here in Wisconsin those crops will be big. Our corn crop is forecast at 528 million bushels on yields of 182 bushels an acre. Last year our corn crop totaled 443 million bushels on yields of 166 bushels an acre. State farmers planted 4 million acres to corn this spring with 2.9 million of those acres for grain. The rest is going for corn silage. This fall’s soybean harvest in the state is now pegged at 110 million bushels on yields of 54 bushels an acre. Last year the bean crop totaled just under 179 and a half million bushels on yields of 47 bushels an acre. State farmers planted just over 2 million acres to soybeans this year.

Former Iowa governor, Terry Branstad, has resigned his post as U.S. Ambassador to China. Branstad was one of President Trump’s first appointments and is given a lot of credit for putting agriculture in such a strong position in the Phase 1 Trade deal with the Chinese. Branstad reportedly told the president he just wants to come home.

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