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The coronavirus relief bill has several sections that will benefit farmers, ranchers and rural businesses and communities.

National Farmers Union has analyzed the $2.2 trillion response, relief and stimulus package passed by the Senate and House.

The package includes several provisions of particular interest to NFU, the organization stated in its newsletter.

The bill provides $130 billion for hospitals, $150 billion for local and state governments, $301 billion for direct payments to individuals, and $300 billion in financial aid for small businesses.

Here is NFU’s breakdown of several provisions important to agriculture and rural communities:

Agricultural assistance

• $14 billion to replenish the Commodity Credit Corporation, which is used to stabilize, support, and protect farm income and prices through initiatives such as the Market Facilitation Program.

• $9.5 billion to help specialty crop growers, farmers who support local food systems, dairy farmers and livestock producers.

• A temporary three-month extension on repayment of commodity marketing assistance loans, from nine months to a year.

Rural businesses

• The availability of Economic Injury Disaster Loans to cooperatives with fewer than 500 employees.

• $100 million to improve access to rural broadband through the ReConnect program.

• $20.5 million to support an additional $1 billion in lending through USDA's Rural Development Business and Industry Loan Guarantee program.

Nutrition assistance

• $15.5 billion in additional funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to assist more participants. This will not increase benefit levels for individuals.

• $8.8 billion in additional funding for child nutrition programs.

• $450 million for the Emergency Food Assistance Program.

Rural health

• $185 million to support rural critical-access hospitals, rural tribal health and telehealth programs and poison-control centers.

• $25 million to improve access to distance learning and telemedicine through USDA Rural Development.

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