Daybreak May 5: Now Available for Farms: SBA Grants | 05/05/2020

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The door is open. For the first time, Small Business Administration takes applications from farms for grants of up to $ 10,000 and low interest loans under the Economic Disaster Lending Program.

After lobbying by farm groups, farms were made EIDL eligible in the coronavirus relief bill passed last month. Businesses can get a grant or “advance” of $ 1,000 per worker up to a maximum of $ 10,000.

RJ Karney of the America Farm Bureau Federation said that many state farm offices and their members eagerly looked at the SBA website to see when registration would begin. The announcement finally took place on Monday.

Farm credit associations have advised borrowers to consider the program, said Mark Hayes, a spokesperson for the Farm Credit Council.

Besides: Hayes says enrolling in the Paycheck Protection Program has gone more smoothly since the SBA system was initially overwhelmed with apps a week ago. In addition, “the agency’s efforts to measure the daily number of requests from each lending institution appear to have helped many agricultural lending institutions access the system more consistently.”

Karney of the AFBF says the SBA’s current effort to orient PPPs towards small lenders should theoretically ensure that more rural applicants are accepted.

Congress receives more calls for product support

The entire Senate is back to work after a five-week hiatus, and farm groups are pushing for CARES 2, the next major coronavirus relief program.

Dairy processors call on Congress to make dairy products eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency resource loans. The dairy program would be licensed for two years and loans would be available on a rolling 120-day basis. But products subject to recourse loans, as opposed to non-recourse loans, cannot be forfeited to the benefit of the USDA.

The loans would allow “processors to guarantee credit on their inventory, thus guaranteeing these job creators the working capital necessary to get through this crisis”, according to a letter The International Dairy Food Association began to circulate on Capitol Hill.

Meanwhile: The National Chicken Council has called for direct aid to the industry to be included in the next stimulus package, and also supports some of the financial aid for frontline industry workers, says spokesperson Tom Super.

Eighteen Senators led by Delaware Democrat Chris Coons appeal for help to chicken farmers. In a letter to Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue, the senators say “The impacts of COVID-19 on the chicken industry are increasingly severe and visible as the disease continues to spread across the United States.

Governor wants plan for Smithfield reopening

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem said she is still waiting for a plan from Smithfield Foods to put her massive Sioux Falls pork processing plant back into operation. Some employees would have been returned to the facility on Monday, but the company said Agri-Pulse in a brief statement saying the plant was not yet in operation.

Noem has authorized the public health agency to conduct voluntary “mass testing” on workers at the plant, which is responsible for about 5% of pork production in the United States, and the governor said

4,000 face shields and 20,000 masks would be made available to Smithfield employees “in a matter of days.”

Lighthizer

US and UK set to start trade talks today

US and UK negotiators will meet today via video conference as they attempt to forge a free trade deal that the US agricultural sector hopes will open up the UK market to poultry, pork and other produce. based.

The fact that the UK is simultaneously negotiating an FTA with the EU could complicate matters. While the EU wants the British to maintain restrictions on biotechnology, growth hormones, ractopamine and peracetic acid rinses, US negotiators will insist that the UK drop them.

During today’s teleconference, US Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer will meet with UK Secretary of International Trade Liz Truss. The talks are expected to continue for two weeks and involve around 200 negotiators, according to a British spokesperson.

Trump resubmits USDA candidacy

On Monday, the White House sent Scott Hutchins’ re-appointment to the Senate as USDA’s Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics. Hutchins continues to serve as the Assistant Under Secretary at the USDA, a position that does not require confirmation from the Senate.

Hutchins was originally nominated in 2018 but never got a vote in the Senate.


Newly emerged corn this week in west-central Missouri

Late frost threatens emerging crops

Cooler temperatures are expected to move across the northern and eastern Cornbelt later this week, potentially causing a late frost. USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey says frost will be a problem where crops have emerged.

“We’ll have to keep an eye out for Minnesota, where a huge amount of corn was planted in late April and early May,” says Rippey. Agri-Pulse.

Typical dates for the last frost are around mid-April, he said. About 8% of US corn has emerged so far, up from 5% last year.

Besides: Growers sowed 51% of the U.S. corn crop and 23% of the soybean crop according to the USDA Crop Progress Report on Monday. These figures are significantly higher than the 21% and 5% of last year respectively.

Catfish, prunes among new USDA buys

USDA announced $ 470 million in new product purchases that will include $ 30 million worth of catfish.

“The coronavirus has depressed the market for catfish and other commodities, and Secretary (USDA) Perdue is right to exercise his power to use an existing program to purchase food surpluses that can be directed to them. food banks, ”said Mississippi GOP Senator Cindy Hyde. -Black-smith.

The Agricultural Marketing Service uses its authority under section 32 to also purchase potatoes, chicken, cherries, sweet potatoes, pork, asparagus, pears, orange juice, products dairy, seafood, prunes, strawberries, turkey and raisins

He said it. “Until that confidence returns, it will be very difficult to get a workforce willing to come into these factories.” – Former USDA chief economist Joe Glauber said it will take time for meat processing plants to resume full production once they have had an outbreak of COVID-19. Workers will be reluctant to enter factories if they think they could be infected, he suggested.

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