Home Indiana Agriculture News Farm Groups React to USDA $12B Aid Program

Farm Groups React to USDA $12B Aid Program

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Many farm groups have responded after President Donald Trump and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the $12 billion program to assist farmers in response to trade damage. Indiana Farm Bureau President Randy Kron said, “While the president’s announcement today of $12 billion in agricultural assistance will provide temporary relief to Hoosier farmers, the importance of trade and open markets is essential to supporting our farmers’ bottom-line. Farm income has dropped about 50% over the last 5 years. Recent drops in corn and soybean prices compound the real dollars lost to Indiana farmers, their families, rural communities and our state’s economy. The administration’s announcement of the assistance package is confirmation that our concerns have been heard but there is still work to do. We will continue to express the importance of reliable trade agreements to Indiana’s representatives in Congress.”

North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), said, “NCGA appreciates the Administration’s recognition of the harm to producers caused by tariffs and trade uncertainty. The fine print will be important. We know the package won’t make farmers whole but look forward to working with USDA on the details and implementation of this plan…Corn farmers prefer to rely on markets, not an aid package, for their livelihoods. NCGA will continue to advocate for Administrative actions including: rescinding the section 232 and 301 tariffs; securing NAFTA’s future; entering new trade agreements; allowing for year-round sales of higher ethanol blends such as E15; and implementing the Renewable Fuel Standard as intended. We believe these additional actions, which would come with no cost, would result in stronger market demand for farmers.”

John Heisdorffer, American Soybean Association (ASA) President, said, “U.S. soybean producers want to see President Trump succeed in meeting his trade campaign goals of achieving better trade deals and greater market access. And, we appreciate that he has recognized our loss in exports and lower prices and provided some immediate relief. However, producers cannot weather sustained trade disruptions.” He added, “Our best course of action is to expand other markets and develop new ones to buy the soybeans we’re not selling to China. This means finishing the NAFTA negotiations as soon as possible so we can begin talks on new bilateral agreements with other key soybean markets including Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.”