Bill to Help Soybean Farmers Access Tariff Relief Program

Congressman Ralph Abraham (R-La.) has introduced legislation to help soybean farmers better access a program designed to offset losses caused by Chinese tariffs.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the Market Facilitation Program earlier this year that offers payments to soybean farmers based on losses to their harvested acres incurred by Chinese tariffs. However, Abraham says not all soybean farmers have access to the program. In his home state of Louisiana, for example, many soybean farmers have either harvested with nowhere to take their beans or been unable to harvest at all, because local storage facilities are full of out-of-state soybeans normally destined for export, leaving growers unable to participate in the MFP. The bill would amend the MFP to allow payments in some circumstances based on “planted acres” instead of “harvested acres.”

This change will allow soybean farmers who could not take their crop to market the ability to still participate in the tariff relief program.