The U.S. Department of Agriculture will roll out a $16 billion in direct payments to American farmers to curb losses created by coronavirus-driven price fallouts and supply chain disruptions, while committing to buying $3 billion in agricultural products.
The programs, announced Friday during a White House briefing, utilizes the first two phases of the Federal government’s coronavirus response – the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
“During this time of national crisis, President Trump and USDA are standing with our farmers, ranchers, and all citizens to make sure they are taken care of,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement. “The American food supply chain had to adapt, and it remains safe, secure, and strong, and we all know that starts with America’s farmers and ranchers.”
The move comes of particular benefit to dairies, who have regularly dumped milk due to oversupply with restaurants and schools closed and prices plummeting.
“This program will not only provide immediate relief for our farmers and ranchers, but it will also allow for the purchase and distribution of our agricultural abundance to help our fellow Americans in need,” Perdue said.