Secretary Perdue Statement on Coronavirus Rescue Package

"The passage of the Coronavirus response legislation will provide much needed relief to Americans across this country, especially workers and small-business owners who have been impacted by COVID-19. President Trump has made the safety and security of the American people a top priority during this national emergency, and this bill will help make Americans more financially secure. At USDA we will deliver relief assistance to farmers and ranchers as quickly as possible."

USDA Working with Private Sector in Response to COVID-19

(Washington, D.C., March 17, 2020) - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced new contacts to encourage communication with USDA to help feed kids and ensure the United States food supply chain remains strong in response to the COVID-19 outbreak:

"Food is essential all year round, but in the face of a pandemic it is critical the shelves remain stocked and supplies remain plentiful. America's farmers and ranchers, and those on the front lines in the food service industry are doing their part," said Secretary Perdue. "President Trump is encouraging a whole of America approach to the challenges we currently face. At USDA we know when we work together to solve the problems facing us, we can overcome this time of uncertainty and fear. If you have ideas or solutions for USDA, I urge you to reach out - we want to hear from the experts in the field."

Secretary Perdue Directs USDA Fleet to Increase Biofuels Usage, Announces Notice of Funding for Biofuels Infrastructure Program

(Washington, D.C., February 28, 2020) - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued a memo (PDF, 1.2 MB) today directing the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to acquire alternative fueled vehicles (AFV) when replacing conventionally fueled vehicles. USDA owns and operates one of the largest civilian fleets in the Federal Government and this move to a fleet that can use E85 or biodiesel will increase efficiencies and performance. Additionally, as part of the President Donald J. Trump's October agreement to seek opportunities to facilitate the availability of higher biofuel blends across the country, USDA will make $100 million in grants available this year for the newly created Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). Through this program, transportation fueling and biodiesel distribution facilities will be able to apply for grants to help install, retrofit, and/or upgrade fuel storage, dispenser pumps, related equipment and infrastructure to be able to sell ethanol and biodiesel. The Department plans to publish application deadlines and other program information in the Federal Register this spring.

Secretary Perdue: China Phase I Deal is a Bonanza for American Agriculture

The United States and China have reached an historic and enforceable agreement on a Phase One trade deal that requires structural reforms and other changes to China's economic and trade regime in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange.

Brazil’s Implementation of Tariff Rate Quota for Wheat a Win for American Farmers

Washington, D.C., November 14, 2019 - U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue welcome Brazil's implementation of an annual duty-free tariff rate quota (TRQ) of 750,000 metric tons (MT) of wheat imports. For many years, Brazil failed to implement its obligation under the WTO to establish a TRQ for wheat. Brazil's implementation of this TRQ fulfills a commitment made to President Trump by President Bolsonaro earlier this year and reflects a desire to deepen trade and economic ties between both countries. "This solution to a long-standing problem is a result of the Administration's advocacy for American farmers and will allow our wheat exporters to compete on a level playing field," said Ambassador Lighthizer. "We look forward to increased exports of American wheat to Brazil."

USDA Announces its Intent to Ensure Adequate Sugar Supply

(Washington, D.C., November 15, 2019) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that it fully intends to take appropriate actions to ensure an adequate supply of sugar to the U.S. market. In recent weeks, prospects for U.S. sugar production have declined significantly due to adverse weather in both sugar beet and sugarcane regions. In the November 2019 World Agricultural Supply & Demand Estimates Report, the U.S. sugar production projection declined by 572,000 short tons raw value from the previous month, while ongoing weather concerns threaten further reductions. With a 10.5 percent ending stocks-to-use ratio forecast for FY20, USDA will be addressing options in the near future in order to stabilize U.S. sugar supplies. USDA intends to make an announcement between November 18 and December 10 as to quantity, type and source of additional sugar needed to ensure an adequate supply for the domestic market, avoid forfeitures and prevent or correct market disruptions.

USDA Invests $41.6 Million in Rural Broadband for Missouri and Southern Iowa Families

BETHANY, Mo., Nov. 15, 2019 - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Richard Fordyce today announced USDA has invested $41.6 million in high-speed broadband infrastructure that will create or improve rural e-Connectivity for rural households and farms in Missouri and Southern Iowa. This is one of many funding announcements in the first round of USDA's Reconnect Pilot Program investments. "In Missouri and across the country, technology and innovation are vital to agricultural production," Fordyce said. "Our commitment to invest in rural America cannot be achieved without addressing the digital divide our rural communities face because of a lack of high-speed broadband Internet."

USDA Issues Second Tranche of Market Facilitation Program

(Washington, D.C., November 15, 2019) - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the second tranche of 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments aimed at assisting farmers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations. The payments will begin the week before Thanksgiving. Producers of MFP-eligible commodities will now be eligible to receive 25 percent of the total payment expected, in addition to the 50 percent they have already received from the 2019 MFP. "This second tranche of 2019 MFP payments, along with already provided disaster assistance, will give farmers, who have had a tough year due to unfair trade retaliation and natural disasters, much needed funds in time for Thanksgiving," said Secretary Perdue. "President Trump has shown time and again that he is fighting for America's farmers and ranchers.

American Poultry Farmers Regain Access to China

U.S. poultry exports expected to top $1 billion annually

(Washington, D.C., November 14, 2019) - United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue released the following statement on China's decision to lift its ban on poultry imports from the United States:

"The United States welcomes China's decision to finally lift its unwarranted ban on U.S. poultry and poultry products. This is great news for both America's farmers and China's consumers," said Ambassador Lighthizer. "China is an important export market for America's poultry farmers, and we estimate they will now be able to export more than $1 billion worth of poultry and poultry products each year to China. Reopening China to U.S. poultry will create new export opportunities for our poultry farmers and support thousands of workers employed by the U.S. poultry industry." Secretary Perdue said, "After being shut out of the market for years, U.S. poultry producers and exporters welcome the reopening of China's market to their products.

USDA Invests $1.4 Billion in Rural Electric Infrastructure Improvements in 21 States

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1, 2019 - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $1.4 billion in projects in 21 states (PDF, 143 KB) to build and improve rural electric infrastructure. "Modern and reliable electric infrastructure has been a cornerstone to rural prosperity since the Rural Electrification Act of 1936," Secretary Perdue said. "This funding we are providing is critical to rural communities and reflects President Trump's commitment to increasing prosperity across all of rural America. When rural America thrives, all of America thrives."