USDA plans additional $14B for farmers reeling from virus

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DES MOINES, Iowa — The federal government says it will give farmers an additional $14 billion to compensate them for the difficulties they’ve experienced selling their crops, milk and meat because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released details of its plan Friday, saying it will provide “financial assistance that gives producers the ability to absorb increased marketing costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

President Donald Trump first mentioned the aid in a speech Thursday night in Wisconsin, a state that is considered vital for his chances to win a second term.

The additional payments also illustrate the importance of farmers as a voting block to Trump’s reelection.