USDA to provide COVID-19 relief to biofuel producers

Source: By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine • Posted: Thursday, March 25, 2021

The USDA on March 24 announced its intent to provide COVID-19 relief to biofuel producers as part of its USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative, which aims to distribute relief resources more equitably.

The USDA said it is establishing new programs and efforts to bring financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and producers who felt the impact of COVID-19 market disruptions. The new initiative aims to reach a broader set of producers than in previous COVID-19 aid programs.

The agency said it will dedicate at least $6 billion towards the new programs. It will also develop rules for new programs that will put a greater emphasis on outreach to small and socially disadvantaged producers, specialty crop and organic producers, timber harvesters, as well as provide support for the food supply chain and producers of renewable fuel, among others. Rulemaking, where required, will commence this spring, according to the USDA.

“The pandemic affected all of agriculture, but many farmers did not benefit from previous rounds of pandemic-related assistance. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to helping as many producers as possible, as equitably as possible,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Our new USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative will help get financial assistance to a broader set of producers, including to socially disadvantaged communities, small and medium sized producers, and farmers and producers of less traditional crops.”

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