The Agriculture Department sharply increased commodity payment rates for its 2019 trade assistance package, boosting the corn rate by 14-fold and quadrupling cotton’s, based on higher estimates of the trade damage that farmers have suffered.
The latest version of the Trump administration’s trade assistance for farmers may provide some growers with more money than their actual losses from the ongoing trade war with China, but supporters of the aid package say it’s vital to helping many produces to survive until better times.
The Trump administration’s trade negotiations pick up this week with both China and Japan, while the Agriculture Department starts accepting applications for the latest round of trade assistance being offered to farmers as compensation for the impact of retaliatory tariffs.
When the Department of Agriculture changed the way it distributed Market Facilitation Program payments for the 2019 edition of the program, it also changed where a good chunk of the payments were going.
The Agriculture Department overhauled its Market Facilitation Program to broaden the number of farmers that would receive the trade aid, but officials may encounter new grumbling over the wide disparities in county payment rates.
Farmers who qualify for the upcoming round of trade assistance payments will get at least $15 an acre, says Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who will release additional details of the Market Facilitation Program later in the week.