The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced details of $12 billion in short-term relief to farmers as a trade and tariff impasse remains between China and the United States.
USDA will offer three programs to assist agricultural producers:
- The Market Facilitation Program will provide payments to eligible producers of corn, cotton, sorghum, soybeans, wheat, dairy or hogs;
- The Food Purchase and Distribution Program will make some additional purchases to help offset the surpluses of affected commodities; and
- The Trade Promotion Program is designed to help restore some of the lost trade markets and develop new export markets for American farm products.
Administration of the market facilitation program began in September. Initially $4.7 billion will be distributed, with a large portion of that money going to soybean farmers. Hog, dairy, corn and wheat are also recipients.
Hog, dairy and wheat farmers are encouraged to visit their county Farm Service Agency office to apply. Soybean and corn farmers should visit their FSA office after their harvests are complete.
The application period runs through Jan. 15, 2019.
Farm Bureau also remains actively engaged in encouraging government leaders to come to a quick resolution with any ongoing trade disputes and is pushing for needed market access and trade opportunities around the world. At press time, negotiations with China remained stalled. A NAFTA agreement with Mexico had been reached between the Trump administration and Mexico, but not with Canada. Any NAFTA renegotiation would have have to be approved by Congress to be implemented.