**A warning for anyone who received unsolicited seed packets … Do not open them and contact your county agricultural commissioner's office.

The USDA says suspicious packages have been received around the country, most from China.

Officials warn against planting seeds from unknown origins, citing concerns about plant diseases the seeds could carry.

**Farmers have until Friday, August 28, to apply for Coronavirus Food Assistance aid payments at their local USDA Farm Service Agency office.

According to milkbusiness.com, the amount paid out to individuals to date represents 80% of their claimed COVID-19 losses.

USDA is holding the other 20% in reserve to ensure it has sufficient funds to cover at least 80% of applicants’ claims.

USDA undersecretary, Bill Northey says farmers can expect to receive that remaining 20% by the end of August.

https://www.milkbusiness.com/article/one-month-left-to-apply-for-coronavirus-payments?mkt/

**The USDA Food and Nutrition Service has released its June 2020 Cost of Foods Report, announcing a more than 5% increase in the cost of the Thrifty Food Plan from last year, more than double the 20-year annual average of around 2%.

Beginning October 1st SNAP participants’ maximum monthly benefit will be the highest level in the history of the program.

FNS Administrator Pam Miller says this adjustment will not only help SNAP participants during this unprecedented crisis but will also support the American farmers, ranchers, and producers working throughout this pandemic.