Grassley discusses farm relief, trade issues in IFU forum


By Brent Barnett, Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network

July 29, 2020


The U.S. Senate’s latest proposed coronavirus relief package includes $20 billion in farm relief.


Speaking at an Iowa Farmers Union online forum Tuesday afternoon, Senator Chuck Grassley briefly discussed the relief package that was unveiled by senate republicans on Monday. Grassley says the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be felt by Ag producers.


“Right now, it looks like it will be $20 billion to the secretary of agriculture,” Grassley said. “I don’t know whether it’s a part of the CCC program (Commodity Credit Corp.) or separate from it, but I don’t think it really makes much difference because it’s going to be used along the same lines as what’s been done with the first CARES Act.”


The senate coronavirus relief package didn’t specifically mention the biofuels industry, however, Grassley says lawmakers are trying to gain interest in getting aid for ethanol.


“Not just for the sake of helping farmers that (aid) might help, but because they are helping the petroleum industry by putting oil at $40 per barrel in the strategic reserve,” Grassley said. “That may be a good buy for the government putting cheap oil in there, but that adds up to about $3 billion. We’d like to get the secretary of agriculture to allocate a sizeable amount – ideally that – to help ethanol.”


Grassley was also asked during the forum about ongoing tensions between the United States and China, and whether that will have an impact on trade between the two countries...