USDA to provide $700 million in pandemic assistance to biofuel producers
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced June 15 additional aid to agricultural producers and businesses as part of the USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. One of the largest sums of monetary assistance to a single sector in this most recent USDA aid offering is $700 million being made available to biofuel producers that have endured hardship from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic beginning in March 2020.
“USDA is honoring its commitment to get financial assistance to producers and critical agricultural businesses, especially those left out or underserved by previous COVID aid,” Vilsack said. “These investments through USDA Pandemic Assistance will help our food, agriculture and forestry sectors get back on track and plan for the future. Since January, USDA has provided more than $11 billion of assistance directly to producers and food and agriculture business.”
Earlier this year, Vilsack announced plans to use available pandemic assistance funds to address a number of gaps and disparities in previous rounds of aid. Implementation of the assistance announced June 15 will continue within 60 days to include support to timber harvesters, dairy farmers and processors, livestock farmers and contract growers of poultry, assistance for organic cost share, grants for personal protective equipment, and, as previously mentioned, biofuels producers.
“As the economy continues to bounce back, USDA will ensure American agriculture is ready to seize the moment,” Vilsack said.