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Senators Coons, Wicker Request Financial Assistance for Chicken Farmers Impacted by COVID-19
Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) led a letter signed by 17 other senators requesting direct financial assistance for chicken farmers that have been financially impacted by COVID-19.
“As the chicken industry in Delaware and across the country continues to cope with reduced demand and processing capacity, chicken farmers have experienced a big hit to their bottom lines. In many instances, farmers are receiving fewer birds on a less frequent basis, and in some cases, they have been forced to depopulate millions of healthy birds.
Although other farmers have benefited from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, chicken farmers have not received any assistance and...
USDA Trade Mitigation Purchases to Feed People in Need and Aid American Farmers Surpass $2B
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that it has purchased more than $2.2 billion of meat, fruits, vegetables, specialty crops and dairy products in fiscal years 2019 and 2020 in its ongoing efforts to feed people in need and assist American farmers and ranchers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations.
USDA is on target to reach its fiscal year goal of about $1.4 billion of trade mitigation purchases in the next phase of fiscal year purchasing, which ends Sept. 30. The purchases were made through...
USDA Increases Monthly SNAP Benefits by 40%
The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced emergency benefit increases have reached $2.0 billion per month for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households across all 50 states and 3 territories to increase food security during the coronavirus national emergency. These emergency benefits represent a 40% increase in overall monthly SNAP benefits, significantly increasing food purchasing power for American families.
“These are unprecedented times for American families who are facing joblessness and hunger. USDA is providing a 40% increase in SNAP benefits to ensure that low-income individuals have enough food to feed themselves and their families during...
Coronavirus Continues to Impact Number of Initial Unemployment Claims
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the figure for initial unemployment claims was 4,427,000 for the week ending April 18th. This is a decrease of 810,000 from the previous week's revised level. Last week's level was revised down by 8,000 claims from 5,245,000 for a total of 5,237,000. The 4-week moving average increased by 280,000 to reach 5,786,500.
For the week ending April 11th, the insured unemployment rate was 11%, an increase of 2.8 percentage points from the previous week. This marks the highest level of the insured unemployment rate in the history of the series. The total reached...
National Chicken Council Requests Relief for Chicken Farmers Affected by COVID-19
The National Chicken Council sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue requesting relief for family farmers due to potential supply chain effects related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“As a result of reduced workforce at processing plants, foodservice demand vanishing virtually overnight, historically high cold storage supply levels and a potential loss of international trade market access due to the recent detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), some chicken processors have begun to reduce eggs set to reflect decreased demand and to avoid any potential animal welfare concerns,” the letter read. “One implication of trying to...
Retailers Ask for More Aid for Larger Businesses
The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay in response to announcements made by the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department on efforts to help businesses with liquidity issues during the coronavirus pandemic:
"As part of the next round of liquidity support for U.S. businesses, today’s release by the Federal Reserve Bank of new term sheets is a welcome development. By strengthening the efficiency of the Paycheck Protection Program and clarifying terms to speed relief to small and mid-market businesses through the Mainstreet Lending Program, the government is...
Unemployment Claims Top 6 Million as Coronavirus Keeps Businesses Closed
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, during the week ending March 28th, the increase in initial unemployment claims due to the impact of the coronavirus reached 6,648,000. This is an increase of 3,341,000 from the previous week's revised level. States continued to identify increases related to the services industry broadly, again led by accommodation and foodservice.
However, state comments indicated a wider impact across industries. Some states cited social assistance and manufacturing. Meanwhile, an increasing number of states identified...
NCBA Applauds Bipartisan, Bicameral Letter Urging COVID-19 Relief for Cattle Producers
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) applauded a congressional letter that was sent today to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue, urging swift relief for American cattle producers who have been adversely impacted by the ongoing Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The letter was signed by a bipartisan group of over 145 lawmakers from both chambers of Congress.
“America’s cattle producers have been hit hard by the unforeseen financial challenges brought on by this pandemic. We thank each and every lawmaker that showed their continued support to rural families by signing onto this critical letter,” said NCBA President Marty Smith, a family cow-calf operator from Wacahoota, Fla. “We remain hopeful that...
NPPC Urges SBA to Ensure Ag Businesses Can Access Disaster Loan Program
The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) joined 30 agriculture organizations yesterday in urging the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to ensure agricultural business can participate in the economic disaster loan program included in the CARES Act.
Earlier this week, SBA posted information on its Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program website stating applicants do not qualify for loans if they are an agricultural enterprise (e.g. farm). However, the CARES Act, signed into law last month, does not specifically exclude agriculture from this program. Congress intended for all business fewer than...
Industry Reacts to Senate Passage of the Coronavirus Stimulus Package
The $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package is expected to pass in Congress. The Senate passed the legislation Wednesday evening and the House is set to vote today. The bill includes $250 billion to make unemployment insurance available to more categories of workers and to extend the duration of benefits. About $150 billion will go to states, distributed according to population size. Another $349 billion will be used as loans for small businesses.
Matthew Shay, President and CEO of the National Retail Federation, said, "Companies that were investing, growing and contributing to a vibrant economy just a few weeks ago have been thrust into survival mode through no fault of their own." The Federation spoke on behalf of the retail industry in a press release by expressing appreciation for the efforts by leaders in Congress and President Trump to...
Coronavirus Impact Leads to Highest Unemployment Claims in U.S. History
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, during the week ending March 21st, the increase in initial unemployment claims due to the impact of the coronavirus reached a record high. States are continuing to cite service industries broadly, particularly foodservice. Additional industries also cited include social services, transportation, warehouses, and manufacturing industries.
A record 3,283,000 people filed claims for unemployment in the United States last week as the coronavirus pandemic shut down large parts of the economy. The labor department reported that the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims showed an increase of 3,001,000 from the previous week's revised level.
This marks the highest level of claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series. The previous high was 695,000 in October of 1982. The previous week's level was revised up by...
Business Groups Send Letter to White House Calling for Economic Stabilization Efforts
The National Retail Federation was among 90 retail industry trade groups that sent a letter to the White House applauding the Trump Administration and House and Senate leadership for their efforts to protect public health and minimize the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The letter states, “The economic harm from social distancing and mandatory store closures is real. Layoffs and economic hardship will surely follow, particularly for smaller, specialty retailers and brands. The biggest single issue facing the industry right now is liquidity, and federal stimulus efforts must be swift and flexible enough to address the urgent need for access to credit to keep these businesses afloat.”
The retail industry, and the associated suppliers they support, are suffering cumulative losses that amount to tens of billions of dollars every week. As the nation’s largest...
NCBA Sends Letter to Capitol Hill Urging Relief for Cattle Producers
In response to the ongoing efforts to provide relief to Americans impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane issued the following statement:
“As the country reels both economically and emotionally from the spread of COVID-19, NCBA has been hard at work ensuring that cattle producers remain able to focus on the national infrastructure priority of keeping high-quality beef available to consumers.
“Meeting that challenge requires federal officials at the Departments of Agriculture, Transportation, Interior, Treasury, and more to have a full understanding of how our product gets from the pasture to the plate – and...
National Restaurant Association Calls on Congress for Relief Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
The National Restaurant Association called on President Trump and congressional leaders to provide immediate relief in the wake of government-mandated operational changes. The large-scale closures and restrictions on gatherings have created an economic hardship that will ripple through every community in this country.
Early economic forecasts reveal the industry will sustain at least a $225 billion loss and be forced to eliminate between 5 to 7 million jobs over the next three-months; however, the White House and others are projecting a potentially longer period for reduced operations. In a letter to the Administration and Congress, the National Restaurant Association outlined several options that can provide...
USDA Makes It Easier, Safer to Feed Children in California Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved a request from California to allow meal service during school closures to minimize potential exposure to the coronavirus. These meals are available at no cost to low-income children – and are not required to be served in a group setting – to ensure kids receive nutritious meals while schools are temporarily closed.
“USDA stands with the people of California as a part of a federal-wide coordinated response,” said Brandon Lipps, Deputy Under Secretary for USDA’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services. “The flexibility provided by the waiver approved will help ensure...
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