USDA pays $1.5 billion a week in coronavirus relief

In just three weeks, the USDA sent $4.52 billion to farmers and ranchers through its new coronavirus relief program, data released on Tuesday show. More than $4 of every $10 disbursed by the so-called CFAP2 went to corn and soybean growers concentrated in the Midwest.

The top five states for payments, all in the Midwest, received a total of $1.76 billion. They were Iowa, $448.5 million; Illinois, $352.4 million; Minnesota, $333.8 million; Nebraska, $347.2 million; and Wisconsin, $277.4 million. Up to $14 billion is available under the new iteration of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. Payments were approved for 242,494 applications since sign-up began September 21 for average assistance of $18,647.

By commodity, payments totaled $1.4 billion for corn, $1 billion for cattle, $534 million for soybeans, and $452 million for milk.

Outlays through the original CFAP increased slightly to $10.22 billion on 645,564 applications, an increase of 1,612 applications from the preceding week. Sign-up closed on Sept. 11 for most producers but applications will be accepted until Oct. 8 for farmers in Louisiana, Oregon, and Texas who were affected by hurricanes or wildfires.

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