Following President Trump’s tariff aid package announcement on Tuesday, farmers, bankers and industry leaders alike have said they’d rather have better access to free markets than government payments.
According to Alan Hoskins an ag lender, it’s too soon to know if the president’s $12 billion aid package will be beneficial. However, he says it’s clear the aid isn’t something farmers want.
“They want free market to be able to make a profit by selling grain, not by giving a handout from the government,” he says.
The program is likely to provide an influx of cash for producers growing certain commodities, a welcome relief for cash strapped farmers heading into renewal season.
“Cash Flow looks like is going to be tight this year,” Hoskins says. “So definitely, there's going to be some challenging conversations, but it's not something to be feared by the producers. It's just something that we need to do to work together to try to figure out the solutions that are going to help them.”
Illinois farmer Michael Cox says the aid package is a short-term fix at best.
“There’s to many ifs about the program,” he says.
Fortunately, Cox did some grain hedging and won’t be subject to price issues in the near term. According to Hoskins, not all farmers are like Cox and many are wide open to market volatility at this point.
“In many cases, not everyone has done what Michael did in making sure that there were some good contracts out there,” he says adding these payments will be important to them.
The program isn’t officially slated to launch until September 1 and payments won’t be calculated for most crops until harvest is finished. Unfortunately, for some producers September might be too late.