The bipartisan campaign Farmers for Free Trade has been fielding many questions from farmers on how exactly the USDA’s $12 billion aid package will work.
“Since this package was announced last month we’ve traveled to rural communities across the country to hear directly from farmers. Their reaction to this package has almost uniformly been that they want contracts not compensation,” said Angela Hofmann, Deputy Director of Farmers for Free Trade. “The farmers shouldering the burden of this trade war also have significant questions about how the program would even work.”
Hofmann said these were some of the key questions Farmers for Free Trade heard directly from farmers and hope the USDA will be able to answer when they announce details of the program.
- How will individual losses due to tariffs be calculated?
- Will some producers be compensated more than others?
- Will this program address the full range of producers who are being harmed? What happens to produce, fruit, nut, specialty crop, and other farmers who may not be included in the aid package?
- How will these payments correct the underlying uncertainty in the market?
- Will small and mid-sized farmers get a smaller piece of the pie based on a “per bushel” calculation?
- Will farmers struggling with drought conditions get less or no relief because of reduced production?
- How will farmers be compensated for long-term impacts? Will there be a second aid package that addresses the more damaging long-term loss of markets?
- What, if any relief will be provided for rising input costs – including the rising cost of items like tractors, grain bins, and fencing?
- Will there be any payment limits?
- What will happen to product that is purchased as part of the direct purchasing programs? Will it be destroyed or go back on the market? How will this impact prices?