Grocery Demand Surges and USDA Picks Up Pace
**Grocery stores and farm groups have been urging people to buy only the food they can use, but a number of staple products have seen surges of demand, including dairy.
Analysts say people have been stocking up on milk, cheese, ice cream and other products.
One small-scale milk processor in California says he's been operating at 140% capacity to keep customers supplied.
**The USDA is working to be as flexible as possible to get food out to the people who need it during the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Trump has signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which includes billions of dollars in nutrition assistance.
Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue is moving to quickly implement these new provisions and ensure everyone is fed.
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service launched a new webpage www.fns.usda.gov/coronavirus to provide COVID-19 nutrition assistance.
**Last week, the Senate advanced its Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security Act, the third leg of assistance, in response to the economic fallout from the coronavirus.
For farmers, the final $2 trillion package includes specific requests, such as additional lending authority to for the Commodity Credit Corp. and livestock and disaster assistance.
The COVID-19 impact on ag includes a rapid and unanticipated decline in commodity prices, the likely closure of ethanol plants, the decline in restaurant and school meal demand and reduction in direct-to-consumer sales.