USDA has unveiled a new initiative for farmers, ranchers and biofuels producers impacted by COVID-19 market disruptions – Pandemic Assistance for Producers (PAP).
USDA is dedicating at least $6 billion toward the new programs. The Department 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. Existing programs like the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) will fall within the new initiative and, where statutory authority allows, will be refined to better address the needs of producers.
During a press availability with farm broadcasters, Vilsack said they are in the process of putting together details on relief for biofuels producers.
Secy Vilsack on pandemic aid for biofuels producers (:34)
American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings said aid for biofuel producers is sorely needed. “ACE members are enormously grateful Secretary Vilsack is ensuring a portion of the unspent funding USDA received from previous stimulus bills and the CCC will go to biofuel producers who have been fighting to survive since the pandemic became widespread in the U.S,” said Jennings. “We understand no one will be made whole for the historic losses they experienced due to the coronavirus pandemic, but something is better than nothing and we now know biofuel producers will not be left behind.”