A bipartisan group of Senators is requesting relief for farmers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 43 senators include Republicans Martha McSally of Arizona, Cory Gardner of Colorado and John Thune of South Dakota, along with Democrats, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Doug Jones of Alabama.
They made their request in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
“We write to ask that you take action to ensure the continuity of our country’s food supply and support rural areas during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by providing needed relief to farmers — including by ensuring that the temporary flexibilities on farm loans recently announced by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) are made permanent for the duration of the pandemic and subsequent economic recovery, and also by ensuring adequate and equitable access to credit during this period of market uncertainty.
“As you know, farmers across the country have faced many challenges in the past several years. The coronavirus pandemic is now causing additional disruptions, driving further declines in market conditions, prices, and export demand, and some experts believe that the consequences of the pandemic could hit rural communities particularly hard.”
Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that farmers financially hurt by coronavirus will have an easier time getting federal loans. USDA's Farm Service Agency had said it was extending deadlines for producers to deal with loans, including allowing financially troubled or delinquent farmers to be considered for loan deferral.
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