USDA Promises Ethanol Producers COVID Payments Coming Soon

USDA Undersecretary for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small told a House Agriculture Committee hearing this week that $700 million in CARES Act payments for ethanol producers will be coming soon. “We’ve been working to get the money out the door, we took some time to get it right,” Small said. “We are expecting payments to go out in late spring or early summer.”

Karama Neal, administrator of USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service, said they needed to take into account that ethanol producers also sell animal feed in the form of distillers dried grains (DDGS) or CO2 as a co-product. “They had contracts to do that and wanted to meet those obligations so they were operating, but they were operating at a loss,” said Neal. That amendment was published in January and applications closed in February.

Listen to Reps. Randy Feenstra (R-IA) and Rodney Davis (R-IL) question Small and Neal during the hearing.
House Ag hearing rural development (9:59)

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