You are the owner of this article.
spotlight

Trump’s farm subsidies: How much is our state getting?

  • Updated
  • 1 min to read
Trump’s farm subsidies: How much is our state getting?
{{featured_button_text}}
Some big farms collect big checks from Trump aid package

In this Tuesday, June 25, 2019, photo, farmer Matthew Keller walks through one of his pig barns near Kenyon, Minn. When the Trump administration announced a $12 billion aid package for farmers struggling under the financial strain of his trade dispute with China, the payments were capped. But records obtained by The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act show that many large farming operations easily found legal ways around the limits to collect big checks. Recipients who spoke to AP defended the payouts, saying they didn't even cover their losses under the trade war and that they were legally entitled to them. Keller, who also grows crops to feed his livestock, said he "definitely appreciated" the $143,820 he collected from the program. It didn't cover all his losses but it helped with his cash flow, he said. He reached the $125,000 cap on his hogs, and the remaining money was for his soybeans and corn.

When President Donald Trump's administration announced a $12 billion aid package for farmers struggling under the financial strain of his trade dispute with China, the payments were capped.

But many large farming operations have had no trouble finding legal ways around them, records provided to The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act show.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the first Market Facilitation Program (MFP) in July 2018 to help agricultural producers who may have suffered due to recent trade disruptions with China.

USDA estimated Chinese retaliatory tariffs enacted last year caused roughly $11 billion in damages to U.S. farmers. The government provided up to $12 billion – mainly in the form of direct payments to farmers -- to offset those impacts from October 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019.

Recently, a second round of funding was announced, authorizing USDA to provide up to $16 billion in additional offsets, much of which will also be direct payments to farmers affected by the trade war.

Although many farmers received significantly more than the stated maximum payments, the program set payment caps per person or legal entity in three categories:

  • $125,000 for crop commodities (soybeans, wheat, cotton, corn and sorghum)
  • $125,000 for dairy production and hogs
  • $125,000 for fresh sweet cherries and shelled almonds

This means a person could receive maximum of $375,000 -- if they produced commodities in all categories -- or a maximum of $125,000 if they produced commodities in only one category. Business operations can get more than the stated maximum, but individual farmers can not.

Explore this database to find out how the subsidies were distributed.

Of the money, 82.6% – $7.06 billion – went to 415,791 soybean farmers. The second most subsidized commodity was cotton, which accounted for about 5.6% of all money.

Use this search to find out how much went to your state, and which commodities received the most aid. You can also search business farms that received overpayments -- more than the maximum payout that was supposed to be allowed.

Loading...

Get the latest local news delivered daily directly to your inbox!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.
0
0
0
0
1

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

Breaking News