Bipartisan aid package pitched in Congress

IARN — A bipartisan group of lawmakers announced a proposed coronavirus aid package that would cost $908 billion overall and would contain $26 billion for nutrition and agriculture. The proposal is less than 50 percent of a White House proposal issued before the election. It is also one-third the cost of a plan backed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The package is considered by many to be a short-term plan as President-elect Joe Biden hinted that his new economic team would propose a larger economic stimulus package once he is sworn in. Biden adds that “Any package passed in the lame-duck session is likely to be, at best, just the start.” Read more


Senator Grassley calls for more oversight of farm program payments

IARN — Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley has been a loud advocate for accountability in payments that are issued as part of farm programs. During the last Farm Bill negotiation, Grassley was the only dissenting vote on approving their draft of a Farm Bill the Senate Ag Committee for approving their version of the legislation. At the time, he explained that his dissention was because he could not go along with a farm bill that had no reforms to the farm subsidy payments. Even since the passage of the legislation, Grassley has not quieted his calls for accountability. Read more


China purchases of U.S. commodities still lagging

IARN — China’s purchases of U.S. farm commodities still lag behind targets set in the Phase One Agreement, according to research by the Peterson Institute. Through October 2020, China’s year-to-date total imports of covered products from the United States were $75.5 billion, compared with a prorated year-to-date target of $137.3 billion. Over the same period, U.S. exports to China of covered products were $70.3 billion, compared with a year-to-date target of $125.4 billion. Read more