Farmers Show Cautious Optimism for Tariff Aid Plan

May 24, 2019 03:46 PM
Does the new plan meet those goals and does it provide relief for farmers? AgWeb asked farmers and ranchers in our Pulse Poll if they approve of the new Market Facilitation Program (MFP).

President Donald Trump and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue unveiled a new version of a tariff relief plan on Thursday designed to alleviate financial pains caused by the ongoing trade war with China. The second year of the program has been altered, featuring a aggregated payment structure for all Title I crops rather than a per-bushel, per crop payment as in 2018. The switch was designed to avoid skewing planting intentions and to avoid competing crop squabbles.

Does the new plan meet those goals and does it provide relief for farmers? AgWeb asked farmers and ranchers in our Pulse Poll if they approve of the new Market Facilitation Program (MFP).


Farm Journal Pulse

While the plan does not yet meet the approval of a majority of growers, 45% of the 930 who responded said they do approve of the 2019 MFP. Only 19% disapprove, but a significant 36% said they do not yet know if they approve of the plan.

That uncertainty may be somewhat intentional. USDA has deliberately left key components of the plan, such as payment rates and caps, unknown.

“We have not disclosed details that would distort planting intentions for intentional purposes, because we always want our producers to plan for the market, not for government programs, whether they be farm bill programs, or safety nets or something like this,” Perdue told AgriTalk Radio host Chip Flory. “So what we're saying is you make your decision based on the weather and the markets and do what you were going to do, regardless of any kind of government program.”

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Spell Check

Jonesboro , AR
5/28/2019 09:29 PM

  Froggy, I'm not saying some Republican senators aren't vulnerable I'm just saying Senator Cotton is not one of them. Arkansas is very conservative and 80-90% of farmers here are Trump supporters and will remain so. What's strange is Arkansas had two Democratic senators until 7-8 years ago before the leftward lurch by Democrats.

Notown, KS
5/24/2019 09:14 PM

  Like everything the Thrumpmiester does, I think his speach only added more confusion to an already made mess. I have NO confidence in him what-so-ever. And 'Sonny' is NO better.

Worthington, MN
5/24/2019 10:12 PM

  I know I certainly 100% disapprove of the handling of the MFP payments and most farmers here in SW Minnesota would agree. Grain farmers anyway. Apparently the boneheads at the top of the USDA have no idea how bad our planting conditions are up here. We can’t turn a wheel so we don’t deserve MFP payments? Did we ask for rain every other day? Are we just sitting on the sidelines not planting corn and beans because we are drooling over the massively lucrative Prevent Payments? Apparently Sonny thinks so! Did tariffs and China trade deal affect my crop insurance figures when the prices were set back in February? Yes they did! So we less fortunate farmers that farm where it rains constantly do not deserve payments? I’ve got inventory from 2018 crop in the bin that’s still affected by China trade issues but I do not derserve a “ tariff payment”? Nice work Sonny and Bill and Donald you certainly didn’t buy my vote. You may have had it before but not anymore!


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