Ag News: April Pork Exports Solid and USDA FSA Approves Millions
**April proved to be a solid month for U.S. beef and pork exports despite COVID-19 related interruptions in production and declining purchasing power of some key trading partners.
According to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S.
Meat Export Federation, beef exports were below last April's large totals but still topped $600 million in value.
Pork exports remained well above year-ago levels but slowed from the record pace established in the first quarter.
**As farmers adjust to how the pandemic has changed markets, those who run agricultural tourism businesses modify their operations to fit the times.
With school tours and other offerings suspended, agritourism farms have focused on farm stands, subscription services and drive-through markets.
A Northern California farmer who runs a pumpkin patch says he'll start planting this month and still plans to open this fall, though with some changes.
**Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says the USDA Farm Service Agency has already approved more than $545 million in payments to producers who’ve applied for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.
FSA began taking applications May 26, and the agency has so far received over 86,000 applications.
Perdue says tools and resources are available to help producers understand the program and complete applications.
In the first six days of the application period, FSA has already made payments to more than 35,000 producers.