Little Aid for Ag

July 31, 2009 02:53 PM

Weighing in at a whopping $787 billion (see pie chart) the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the economic stimulus bill, doesn't do a whole lot for individual farmers. Ag programs receive only about $27 billion (3.3%) of the total package, as estimated by the Congressional Budget Office. Of that total, only 2.8% is production-related. However, producers will benefit from some provisions that fall outside the bill's Food and Farming category, including incentives for renewable fuels, business tax provisions and Small Business Administration loans.

Food and farming 3.3% ($27 bil.)

Rural Economic Development: $4.36 Billion

>$2,500 Broadband loans/grants to towns for distance learning and telemedicine
>$1,380 Direct loans and grants for rural water, wastewater and waste disposal
>$200 Direct and guaranteed loans to rural homeowners
>$150 Guaranteed loans and grants for rural businesses
>$130 Loans and grants for rural community buildings

Ag Department Operations and Infrastructure: $272 Million
>$176 Facility repairs and security improvements at Agricultural Research Service
>$50 Staff salaries and costs to modernize Farm Service Agency information technology
>$24 Construction, repairs and rental at USDA buildings
>$22 Funding for audit of programs, grants, and activities funded by this Act and administered by USDA

Production: $749 Million
>Agriculture disaster transition program: emergency loans, grants to farmers and crop insurance reinstatement for farmers who failed to keep up with payments; farm operating loans for eligible beginning and disadvantaged farmers and ranchers

Conservation: $340 Million
>$290 Funding for watershed and flood prevention, with costs shared with local sponsors, states, other public agencies
>$50 Funding for watershed rehabilitation; technical and financial assistance to rebuild aging dams

Nutrition and Welfare: $20.75 Billion
>$20,000 Funding for a temporary increase in food stamps
>$500 Extra money for women, infants and children (WIC) special nutrition program
>$250 Additional commodities for food banks; money for school lunch

>Dollar amounts are in millions.

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Top Producer, Summer 2009

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