Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting companies got at least $6.4 billion in U.S. coronavirus-related small business loans, government data released Monday showed.
Over 100,000 entities received funds including soybean and corn farmers, beef and dairy operations, hunters and trappers, vineyards and fruit and vegetable growers.
The initial virus outbreak in China threatened American farm-good exports, just after the two countries signed a trade deal in mid-January. By mid-March, U.S. lockdowns walloped demand for food and fuel, forcing ethanol plants to shut down, dairies to dump milk and hog producers to cull animals.
The loans were part of some $521.5 billion issued so far by the Trump administration through the Paycheck Protection Program, which is the government’s biggest virus relief package.
— With assistance by Jason Grotto, and David Ingold
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