OPINION The National Corn Growers Association welcomes the Trump Administration’s announcement of as much as $16 billion in assistance to help farmers to compensate for potential agricultural losses due, in part, to the most recent tariff increases and prolonged trade dispute with China.
Farmers across the country are struggling. Wet spring weather, trade disputes and tariffs, and demand destruction in the ethanol market are forcing farmers to make difficult decisions. We appreciate the administration’s recognition of those challenges and support for America’s farmers.
Following President Donald Trump’s announcement that the administration would be pursuing a second round of trade aid, the association put forward recommendations that would provide both short-term assistance and support market access for farmers.
The association called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to update the Market Facilitation Program to factor market impacts into the calculation of payment rates. Association analysis showed an average price loss of 20 cents per bushel from May 2018 to April 2019. As trade talks with China lagged on in March and April of 2019, losses widened to almost 40 cents per bushel.
The association is also encouraging additional actions the administration could take to open markets and provide more certainty to corn farmers. Those would include stopping Renewal Fuel Standard waivers to big oil refiners and restoring waived ethanol gallons, and resolving trade disputes and tariffs.
The association looks forward to continuing our dialogue with the administration to craft a complete package that will provide corn farmers with more-equitable short-term relief while also supporting and expanding the market opportunities farmers need most.