Farmers Can Apply For New Payments Due To Trade Disputes

Statewide Iowa — (RI) — Area farmers who are being financially hurt by international trade disputes will be able to apply for a second round of payments from the federal government starting Monday.

Unlike last year, row-crop farmers will get payments based on their county, not the specific crop they planted. Former Iowa ag secretary, now USDA Undersecretary, Bill Northey says checks will start going out next month.

County rates reflect how much money the USDA calculated an area lost due to reduced exports and range from 15 to 150 dollars per acre. US Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says the payments are meant to help, but won’t make anyone whole.

Pork and dairy farmers, and producers of specialty crops like fruits and nuts, will be paid separately. The USDA raised the amount a farmer can get from the payouts to 500-thousand dollars, if they’re eligible for payments in two or three categories. Perdue says it’s all in keeping with President Trump’s promise.

Iowa State University ag economist Chad Hart says the change from the 2018 payment program will eliminate complaints that soybeans got a much bigger payout than corn.

Overall, the government plans to distribute more than 14-billion dollars in aid to farmers and ranchers through the Market Facilitation Program, or MFP. Sign-ups will be taken through December 6th.

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