Skip to main content

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Monday its farm aid package would include $4.7-billion in direct payments to farmers to help offset losses from retaliatory tariffs on American exports this season.

The bulk of the payments, $3.6-billion, would be made to soybean farmers. That amounts to $1.65 per bushel multiplied by 50 per cent of expected production, Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey said on a conference call.

China has traditionally bought about 60 per cent of U.S. soybean exports. But it has been largely out of the market since implementing tariffs on U.S. imports in retaliation for the Trump administration’s tariffs on Chinese goods.

Story continues below advertisement

“An announcement about further payments will be made in the coming months if warranted,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said.

The aid package, announced at $12-billion in July, will also include payments for sorghum of 86 cents per bushel multiplied by 50 per cent of production, 1 cent per bushel of corn, 14 cents per bushel of wheat, and 6 cents per pound of cotton.

Payments for hog farmers will be $8 per pig multiplied by 50 per cent of Aug. 1 production, while dairy farmers will receive 12 cents per hundred weight of production, Northey said.

Sign-up for the program will begin on Sept. 4, to coincide with the 2018 harvest, and end in January. Farmers will need to present production evidence to collect payments and payments are capped at $125,000 per person.

The program will also include $1.2-billion in purchases of commodities, including pork and dairy products, to be spread out over several months, Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach said.

“The specific commodities to be purchased are those that have been impacted by the unfair tariffs that have been imposed by other nations,” he said.

The program will also include some $200-million for a trade promotion program to develop new markets.

Story continues below advertisement

The package has been seen as a temporary boost to farmers as the United States and China negotiate trade issues. It has divided Republicans, some of whom favor free trade and were troubled by what they viewed as the kind of welfare programs their party has traditionally opposed. It has also faced skepticism from some farmers, a key Trump constituency.

“Short-term aid does not create long-term market stability,” said Doug Schroeder, Illinois Soybean Growers vice chairman, in a statement after the announcement. “Producers need trade, not aid.”

Report an error
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter