Farm Bureau: Agriculture is better prepared for a second wave of COVID-19

Agriculture is better prepared to handle a second wave of coronavirus. That is according to Andrew Walmsley with the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Several states are seeing spikes of the virus, along with many European nations. Health experts predict a new wave of outbreaks this fall, but Walmsley says that it will not be like dealing with the first one.

“I think we’re much better prepared and I think there was a lot of lessons learned earlier this year, that was just such a rapid change in the economy in the shutdowns,” he said. “Just being able to switch supply chains, you had crops in the ground with no markets that dried up overnight. So, I think we’ve learned a lot. I think a lot more precautions have been put in place.”

Until a new aid bill is passed, ag has access to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. Walmsley adds that the Farm Bureau will continue to advocate for agriculture in the next relief bill.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reportedly made progress on a new deal Monday, but had yet to reach a final agreement. Those negotiations will continue Tuesday.

Pelosi says she wants a deal reached by the end of the day Tuesday in order to get it passed before the election, which is two weeks from today.

Meanwhile, the Senate could vote on a much smaller bill by tomorrow in an effort to at least get another round of $1,200 dollar checks out to Americans. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that if a bipartisan House bill is brought to the Senate floor, a vote will be taken.

For all updates on the coronavirus and how it impacts rural America, visit our coronavirus hub.