Corn, Wheat Growers Want Better Trade Aid Deal

Corn and wheat lobbyists are making the rounds in Washington, D.C., trying to get a better trade-aid deal for their growers.

In the first round of trade mitigation payments, soybean growers made out much better than grain growers because beans were hit hardest when China stopped accepting soybean imports. U.S. farmers had been the biggest soybean exporters to China in the world. At the time, Ag Department officials said the formula they developed to provide the most aid to soybean farmers was necessary because of World Trade Organization rules.

Soybean producers received a Market Facilitation Program payment of $1.65 per bushel. Corn farmers only got one cent per bushel. “A penny didn’t cut it before and won’t cut it now,” according to a spokesperson from the National Corn Growers Association. “NCGA is working to determine if there are some alternative options that can be shared with the administration.”

Wheat growers received payments of 14 cents per bushel and weren’t happy with that either. The National Association of Wheat Growers says it has requested a meeting with USDA Chief Economist Rob Johansson and Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney.