On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, a comprehensive $3 trillion bill to provide relief amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The legislation includes several provisions to assist the agriculture industry. The HEROES Act will provide $16.5 billion in direct payments to farmers to cover losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation will also provide much-needed relief to renewable fuel producers, including those who produce corn ethanol.
Below are some, but not all, of the agricultural provisions in the HEROES Act from the latest Intel Report from American Farm Bureau Federation. For the complete report, check out the Agriculture Committee Provisions in the Heroes Act webpage.
- Assistance for Market-Ready Livestock and Poultry Losses
- Dealer Statutory Trust
- Animal Health Surveillance
- Direct Dairy Donation Program
- Supplemental Dairy Margin Coverage
- DMC Premium Discount for 3-Year Signup
- USDA Recourse Loan Program
- Renewable Fuel Reimbursement Program
- Emergency Assistance for Textile Mills
- Direct Payments to Agricultural Producers
- Commodity Credit Coporation
- Expanded Conservation Reserve Program
- Specialty Crops
- Local Agriculture Markets
The HEROES Act acknowledges the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing support for existing farm stress programs. Assistance for beginning farmers and ranchers, support services for migrant seasonal farmworkers, and increased funds and flexibility for USDA nutrition programs is also included.
According to the Intel Report from Farm Bureau, “The next step for the HEROES Act is consideration and potential modification in the Senate. The HEROES package in total is a $3 trillion stimulus package that follows a $2 trillion stimulus package passed earlier this year. It’s likely to be several weeks until the Senate considers additional aid packages given the desire to measure the effectiveness of previous stimulus efforts as states begin to re-open their economies. In addition, any action in the Senate will require bipartisan support. As a result, it is very likely that provisions in this bill could be changed or eliminated in the coming weeks.”