Ag News: Pandemic Assistance Program Initiative
**USDA announced its new “USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers” initiative, including details on the resumption of some Coronavirus Food Assistance Programs.
CFAP provides direct payments to farmers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
The USDA will reopen sign-up for CFAP 2 for at least 60 days, beginning today, April 5.
Among the details, the USDA will dedicate at least $6 billion to provide assistance for, among others, euthanized livestock and poultry and improving the resilience of the food supply chain.
**A decision could come by the end of June, after the U.S. Supreme Court took up a California regulation allowing union organizers to recruit farm employees on a farmer’s property.
Two agricultural employers challenged the regulation, describing it as an unconstitutional taking of private property by the government.
Farm groups say the regulation goes against Supreme Court precedent, especially when unions have other ways to communicate with farm employees.
**The USDA begins bringing more staff back into its county offices.
The Farm Service Agency tells www.agrimarketing.com as much as 50% of the FSA workforce can be back on-site in service centers that are "doing mission critical work."
FSA offices had been limited to having 25% of their workers on site.
Even with employees working remotely, program sign-up levels and other service levels are consistent with the past two years.