USDA Announces Aid for Farmers
On Monday (8/27) U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the details of the administration’s emergency aid package for farmers who are being targeted in an escalating U.S. trade war with China and other top trading partners.
USDA will send incremental payments to soybean, sorghum, wheat, corn, pork, dairy, and cotton producers through the Market Facilitation Program starting on September 4.
These payments will be based on their 2018 actual production and subject to payment limitations.
National Farmers Union (NFU), an advocacy organization representing nearly 200,000 farm families, responds to the announcement. Rob Larew, NFU Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Communications, issued the following statement:
"The USDA aid package is appreciated, and it will begin to help many of those that are suffering the brunt of the retaliation from China and other trading partners. But our family farmers and ranchers need strong markets and long-term certainty. This trade war has already caused irreparable, long-term harm to what were strong trade relationships for American family farmers and ranchers. As a result, farm prices continue to plummet for U.S. farm goods, and our competitors are putting more land into production to fill the void."
In a response from another major farming organization, The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) said the plans unveiled by the USDA to provide aid to farmers negatively impacted by trade tariffs and ongoing trade uncertainty would be insufficient to even begin to address the serious damage done to the corn market as a result of the Administration's actions.
According to an NCGA, trade disputes are estimated to have lowered corn prices by 44 cents per bushel for crop produced in 2018. This amounts to $6.3 billion in lost value on the 81.8 million acres projected to be harvested in 2018. USDA's plan sets the payment rate for corn at just one cent per bushel.