That is the message coming from corn groups all across the country as we await an announcement of additional trade aid in light of stalled negotiations with China. Farm Credit Mid-America Regional Vice President and director on the Indiana Corn Marketing Council Natasha Cox explains why a penny per bushel just won’t cut it.
“Right now, if you look at breakevens around $4 per bushel for a corn farmer and one cent per bushel being the trade package, that’s less than a quarter of a percent of just the production costs, not the gross revenue. So, as corn farmers, we’re coming to the government saying, unintentionally, our corn markets have been distorted by our trade negotiations. Not saying that we don’t believe in those trade negotiations, but those have been distorted. We would hope to have more than a cent come our way this time because that’s just not going to cut it.”
Cox told HAT the same thing other farmers have since July of last year when the Market Facilitation Program was announced- they would prefer free and fair trade to promote and sell their product. However, the trade disruptions have had such a negative impact to farmers that this aid is now necessary to keep them at or near breakeven levels during what Cox called a “perfect storm” for agriculture.
“When you look at China, Canada, Mexico, and then we look at the planting rate, which is a record low in the state of Indiana right now, impacting corn farmers, which potentially could be a crop with some profit in it this year. Really, it’s looking like we’re just not going to be able to get all the corn in the ground this year.”
The Indiana Corn Growers Association sent out an action alert last week urging corn growers to reach out to the White House and tell them that one penny per bushel won’t provide the market certainty needed to stay afloat during these challenging times. You can send an email or call the White House at (202) 456-1414.