Less Than 50% Of Farmers Plan To Participate In Tariff Aid

August 6, 2018 12:42 PM
The latest Farm Journal Pulse survey shows less than 50% of farmers would sign up for USDA’s $12 billion tariff aid package given the information they have today.

The latest Farm Journal Pulse survey shows less than 50% of farmers would sign up for USDA’s $12 billion tariff aid package given the information they have today.

In mid-July, USDA announced a $12 billion tariff aid package to help farmers bear the brunt of the trade war with China, Mexico and the EU. Late last week, 1,115 farmers who participate in the Farm Journal Pulse were asked if they plan to sign up for the bail out. Only 46% of the farmers surveyed said they planned to sign up. Another 6% said they do not plan to participate in the program. And another 48% said they will need more information to decide. 

The survey indicates USDA has not yet provided enough detail on how the aid money will be distributed. While Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says he’s confident the aid will relieve some of the pain farmers are feeling, there are very few program details available. While there’s much speculation surrounding how the program will function, here’s what little information we know to be true. 

According to Perdue, the funds will be paid out through three programs administered by USDA under the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act. The programs include a market facilitation program which would result in farmer payments, a food purchase and distribution program which would purchase surplus of goods going to nutrition programs, and a trade promotion program to provide private sector assistance to new markets. 

The funds will not be distributed equally among the crops and products that qualify. Program payments through the market facilitation program will be based on actual 2018 production data, meaning payments won’t be able to be calculated until after harvest. In fact, USDA under secretary for marketing and regulatory programs, Greg Ibach, says the details will be released closer to Labor Day when USDA plans to fully implement the program.  

As the harvest draws near and Labor Day does too, farmers are hopeful USDA will release further details to help them decide what course of action they should take regarding the aid package. 

Still, the statement ringing out across farm country is “Trade, Not Aid.”

Do you plan to participate? Let me know by sending me an email at alaca@farmjournal.com.


Want to know more about the aid package? More here:

USDA Announces $12 Billion Short-Term Tariff Relief Program

Farm Country Has Mixed Feelings About Tariff Aid

Tariff Aid: "Nobody's Really Thrilled About This"

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Spell Check

Southern, MN
8/6/2018 01:05 PM

  Do you honestly think only 46% of people would accept free money? Sure, 48% need more time to "decide" if they want to accept free money but even the 6% that says no they won't take free money is likely a joke. What percent of farmers participate in ARC/PLC program? That's likely going be how many participate in the tariff aid package. 98 or 99% probably?

Jonesboro , AR
8/6/2018 03:51 PM

  Obviously this is an ignorant column written by an ignorant leftist columnist. How do we know all that 50% that supposedly don't want a payment are really farmers at all! Farmers get a rap for being dumb but believe me they aren't dumb enough to turn down a check in tough times! MN farmers 98-99% may actually be low.

Small town, KS
8/6/2018 07:15 PM

  Don't worry, welfare recieptients will receive most of the money.


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