Farmers are seeing payments from the first round of the latest trade aid in the mailbox. Farm Service Agency director Richard Fordyce says the first payments are being mailed out now, and farmers are reporting receiving the checks.
Round one of the three potential payments is 50 percent of the overall amount farmers may receive. USDA expects up to $14.5 billion of payments will be sent to farmers, pending on the trade negotiation progress. Another 25 percent of the total would go out later this fall, if the Department of Agriculture deems the payments necessary. The final round, if needed, is planned for some time around January.
The payments are meant to offset the losses stemmed from the Trump trade agenda and trade war with China. Payments range from $15 to $150 per acre, depending on location. Payments are also available for dairy and hog producers, under certain reporting parameters.
This is the second time the Trump administration has used the Market Facilitation Program since the trade war with China began.
The following statement may be attributed to American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall:
“We greatly appreciate President Trump’s concern for America’s farmers and ranchers in these difficult economic times, and we are grateful for this continued trade assistance to help our farmers and ranchers stay in business and continue feeding our nation. We look forward to reviewing the details of this new $16 billion aid package and its specific impact on each sector of agriculture.
“These are difficult times for agriculture, and the longer these trade wars continue, the deeper the impact on farm country. Farmers are being hit with tariffs on top of already-challenging economic conditions from severe weather events, low commodity prices, lack of available labor and a host of other impacts. It’s the perfect storm for agriculture, and these continuing trade wars are adding to the increasing financial burden on our farmers and ranchers.
“While we are grateful for the continuing support for American agriculture from President Trump and Secretary Perdue, America’s farmers ultimately want trade more than aid. It is critically important to restore agricultural markets and mutually beneficial relationships with our trading partners around the world.
“We are hopeful that trade negotiations with China will quickly lead to a resolution of trade disputes and that the administration will make important progress in negotiations with Japan and the European Union. At the moment, all eyes are on winning congressional approval for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.”