Appropriations & COVID Relief Package Includes Assistance for Barley Farmers, Beer Tax Provisions, & Barley Research Priorities
Congress reached an agreement on a large package that will include all of the fiscal year 2021 regular appropriations bills, a $900 billion COVID response package, and extension of expiring tax provisions (aka tax extenders), including making permanent the reduced beer excise tax provisions from the Craft Beverage Modernization Tax Reform Act. The measure passed the House and Senate before midnight on December 21st.
The appropriations section included full funding for Wheat & Barley Scab Initiative, funding for Barley Pest Initiative, and Small Grains Genomic Initiative.
The COVID response portion of the package includes $26 billion for food and agriculture. Of that, $13 billion is for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. The other half will go to USDA, with $11.1 billion for direct assistance to farmers and producers. For barley farmers, the bill provides payments to producers of $20 per acre for crops and commodities such as barley that were included in the Price Trigger and Flate-Rate categories of the USDA CFAP2 program.