On Thursday, President Trump authorized USDA to provide up to $16 billion in aid programs to assist farmers who’ve been hurt financially by trade disputes. The program, similar to last year’s trade mitigation aid, is in line with the estimated impact of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods. $14.5 billion of those funds will go to producers as direct payments through the Market Facilitation Program.
Payments will be made to producers of grains, cotton, oilseed, peanuts, alfalfa, as well as other non-specialty crop producers. The payments will be based on a fixed rate for the county in which the producer farms, as well as their planted acreage. Additional payments will go to milk producers based on their production history, as well as pork producers on their hog inventory at a time that’ll be announced later. Payments for tree nuts, fresh sweet cherries, cranberries, and fresh grapes will be based on farmers 2019 acreage.
USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey said county-by-county payments rates will be less likely to influence 2019 planting decisions and will be easier to administer.