Coronavirus aid to farmers tops $20 billion

The Trump administration has paid $20.5 billion to farmers and ranchers in coronavirus relief since the pandemic struck the United States last winter, said USDA data on Monday. Iowa was the leading recipient with a combined $1.9 billion, or more than 9 percent of the money.

Nebraska ranked second in overall receipts, $1.4 billion, followed by California, 41.35 billion, and Minnesota, $1.3 billion. Cattle led among commodities with payments totaling $6.54 billion, followed by corn with $4.56 billion.

The money was disbursed through two iterations of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, $10.4 billion in the initial version and $10.1 billion through the second version so far. The deadline to apply for aid is Dec. 11. Payments may run into the new year. There is no successor for the stop-gap aid programs. As a result, federal aid to agriculture is likely to drop sharply in 2021.

Produced with FERN, non-profit reporting on food, agriculture, and environmental health.
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