Area farmers are deeply concerned about the current corn and soybean prices because they are now below the cost of producing the crop. The Trump Administration has announced another round of payments for farmers, to compensate for lower commodity prices amid trade tensions with China. Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig understands the local concerns with he, himself being a farmer.
The first payments are scheduled to be made in late July or early August, but the final calculations aren’t set. The payments to individual farmers will be based on the impact trade has had on corn and soybean prices in their county. The assistance will not be determined by what farmers plant this year, but a local farmer must have put some seeds in the ground this year to qualify for these payments. Naig says farmers would prefer to trade rather than get aid, but the unresolved trade dispute with China, along with a pending U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, have created havoc in the markets.
Naig says farmers understand what’s at stake as the Trump Administration presses China to make trade concessions.
While U.S. soybean sales to China have been healthy over the last several years, Naig says China has been blocking imports of U.S. beef, poultry, ethanol and corn. The Trump Administration plans to make nearly $15 billion in payments to farmers in three waves, this summer, again in November and then in January.
And Naig says China’s marketplace has been the opposite of fair.