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Looking ahead at government coronavirus assistance

Progress was made in D.C. the past couple of weeks on COVID-19 relief bills impacting farmers, but many are wondering what is next.

Brooke Appleton Vice President of Public Policy for the National Corn Growers Association says she expects some debate on a potential 4th package over the next two to four weeks on how more money will be appropriated to the USDA.

“Some people are going to look to get more CCC (Commodity Credit Corporation) funds for USDA. Others are going to prefer more direct funding for the department since they are restricted on how they can use CCC funds.”

During a University of Illinois farmdoc webinar Friday she says she does not expect any action on a 4th package until late May or early June since D.C. has extended their shelter in place guidelines.

As for further details on the USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program package, Appleton says, “They are working to get this thing done as quickly as possible and we are hoping to see something in the coming weeks from them, understanding that the rule making process has to take place and that takes some time.”

Appleton says although ethanol was left out of the USDA package, they were happy to see $9.6 billion in aid for livestock producers since livestock feed is the biggest use for US corn.

Farmdoc data shows that 79% of the funds from that package will go to producers, with 21% going to consumers.

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