To keep prices stable, the Department of Agriculture is requiring farmers to dump their harvested supplies, thereby denying true market disruption.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday announced a combination of $16 billion in direct payments to farmers and $3 billion in bulk government purchases of commodities to prop up the collapsed farm economy.
The direct payments will include $2.9 billion for dairy farmers and $5.1 billion for cattle farmers and ranchers, the agency said. There is also $1.6 billion for pork producers, $3.9 billion for row crop producers, $2.1 billion for specialty crops and $500 million for other crops.
The USDA is purchasing $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat in an effort to stimulate markets.
The agency said it will begin with the procurement of about $100 million per month in a variety of dairy products, $100 million in meat products and $100 million in fresh fruits and vegetables. Distributors and wholesalers will provide boxes of the commodities to food banks, community and faith-based organizations for distribution to the needy.