Farmers growing corn, wheat, and soybeans can expect increased support under a new trade mitigation package set to be announced later this week.
That’s according to a report from Bloomberg. Citing sources, the outlet reports the administration is considering payments of $2 per bushel to soybean producers, 63 cents per bushel of wheat, and 4 cents per bushel of corn. An announcement of the specifics could come as early as Thursday.
If the news report is accurate, all three amounts would represent an increase over the 2018 Market Facilitation Program. Last year, soybeans were allocated a $1.65 per bushel payment, wheat was set at 14 cents, and corn was allocated a penny per bushel of production.
It remains to be seen if USDA will calculate the payments based on 2019 production or previous planting. Last year, producers hit by a drought complained the per-bushel payments did not adequately compensate them because of a weather-related loss in production.
In a statement, a USDA spokesperson did not offer an announcement timetable, but said one is pending.
“Details on the new trade mitigation program will be forthcoming shortly, but we want to be clear that the program is being designed to avoid skewing planting decisions one way or another," the spokesperson said. "Farmers should continue to make their planting and production decisions with the current market signals in mind, rather than some expectation of what a trade mitigation program might or might not look like, based on a media story.”
Last year, USDA announced MFP as part of a three-phase program to lessen the blow of retaliatory tariffs facing U.S. ag production. That was thought to be a one-time program, but plans for another round of assistance were announced in May after trade talks with China languished.
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