USDA announces the details of the farmer trade aid package
August 27, 2018
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and other USDA officials announced the details of direct aid to farmers today in a telephone briefing with reporters.
Farmers can sign up beginning September 4, and the rates for crop payments appear to be the following:
▪ Sorghum — 86 cents per bushel times 50 percent of production
▪ Soybeans — 1.65 per bushel times 50 percent of production
▪ Corn — 1 cent per bushel times 50 percent of production
▪ Cotton — 6 cents per pound times 50 percent of production.
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▪ Pork — The total number of pigs on hand as of August 1 50 percent of that production $8 per pig.
▪ Dairy — The margin protection historic number at 12 cents per hundredweight times that production number. USDA has a number for 21,000 producers but for those who don't have it can be calculated.
These payments will total $4.7 billion, according to current calculations, but there could be another round of payments in December depending on trade negotiations and whether countries remove retaliatory tariffs or impose them.
Soybean growers will get most of the payment money — $3.6 billion.
There will be a payment limit of $125,000 for crop payments and a separate $125,000 payment limit for pork and dairy. These are per person payment limits, USDA said.
In addition, USDA will purchase commodities and specialty crops totaling $1.2 billion. These purchases will not necessarily be the commodities that USDA has traditionally bought. USDA will buy extra fancy oranges that were headed for the Asian market, USDA said.
USDA will also spend $200 million on foreign market development.
USDA Chief Economist Rob Johansson repeatedly said that the payments were necessary because the retaliatory tariffs are "illegal."
–The Hagstrom Report