U.S. farmers say they want trade more than aid

U.S. farmers say they want trade more than aid

Meanwhile, China and the USA meet again next week to continue trade talks.

The tariffs made American agricultural products more expensive for Chinese importers, and private buyers almost stopped purchasing USA -grown soybeans, leaving a record amount sitting in storage at the end of 2018.

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Lynn Chrisp says farmers definitely need aid at this time. The Trump administration said it would extend this next batch of aid to farmers after U.S.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue (left) on an avocado farm in Escondido, California. 'He knows that they are fighting the fight and they are on the front line'.

In the new aid package, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said it would pay farmers according to geographic location rather than by crop - a change from past year.

The new payments will be based on the shortfall in exports of each crop compared with the highest year of exports over the past decade, said USDA Chief Economist Robert Johannson.

Unlike a year ago, row-crop farmers will get payments based on their county, not the specific crop they planted. Consequently farmers in Alabama, Louisiana, and MS would get an average rate of Dollars 95, 70, and 87 per acre respectively, while those in IL, and Iowa would receive an average of USD 69 and 66 per acre. Three groups of agricultural producers are eligible for assistance: farmers who grow row crops; those who produce specialty crops such as nuts, cranberries and grapes, and producers of dairy and pork. "Our farmers work hard, are the most productive in the world, and we aim to match their enthusiasm and patriotism as we support them".

Johansson said the minimum and maximum payment rates were based on an analysis of ten years of trade data and the amount countries with retaliatory tariffs, including China and India, could have imported.

"We've lost money the last two years", Bardole said, speaking of his family's Iowa farm. Non-specialty crops must be planted by August 1 in order to be considered for payment. The number of farm acres that could not be planted was at a historic level this year because of Midwest flooding, officials said, further straining the farm economy. This is in contrast to last year's decision to make the payment rates based on unit of production for individual commodities, e.g., $1.65 per bushel of soybeans or 6 cents per pound of cotton (Trade Aid Round One: A State Perspective). "Resolving these trade issues sooner than later is what is in the best interests for USA dairy farmers and we hope that the USDA realizes that these payments are not the long-term support we need", said John Rettler, dairy farmer and FarmFirst president.

Trade talks between China and the United States broke down in May after getting close to a potential agreement and were only revived in a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping last month. US exports to China in the first three months of 2019 decreased by $17.1 billion compared to the same time period in 2018.

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