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Thread: Trump pledged to help small farms, but aid is going to big ones

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    Trump pledged to help small farms, but aid is going to big ones

    https://www.detroitnews.com/story/ne...ones/40660147/

    With agriculture caught in the crossfire of the U.S.-China trade war, Donald Trump promised he would help embattled small farmers. So far though, big farms have been the main beneficiaries of the billions being distributed in aid payments.

    Half of the Trump administration’s latest trade-war bailout for farmers went to just a 10th of recipients in the program, according to an analysis of payments by an environmental organization. The study showed that the main recipients have been skewed toward larger operations and wealthier producers.

    The top 1% of beneficiaries from the trade aid received 13% of the money distributed in the first round of payments under this year’s Market Facilitation Program, with an average payment of more than $177,000. But the bottom 80% of recipients received an average payment of $5,136, according to the Environmental Working Group, which analyzed records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

    The group’s funders include foundations and companies, including organic-food producers such as Stonyfield Farm and Organic Valley.

    The analysis echoes the findings of an assessment of last year’s trade aid payment that also found benefits were titled toward large farms. That’s likely to stoke criticism of the cost of the $28 billion bailout and accusations of inequities.

    Senate Democrats earlier this month issued a report arguing Trump’s trade aid favors Southern farmers at the expense of their counterparts in the Midwest and Northern Plains, growers of cotton over soybeans, and large producers over smaller ones.

    “America’s farm safety-net is broken,” Anne Weir Schechinger, a senior analyst with Environmental Working Group, said in a statement. “Instead of helping small farmers that have been hurt by the Trump administration’s trade war, Trump’s Agriculture Department is wantonly distributing billions of taxpayer dollars to the largest and wealthiest farms.”

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. In a statement earlier this month, the agency defended the program against charges of inequities saying the payment formula is “based on trade damage, not based on region or farm size.”

    The Trump administration announced an additional $16 billion round of trade aid for farmers this year as the trade dispute with China drags on. That’s on top of a $12 billion pledge in 2018.

    This year’s payments are being made in three tranches. The Environmental Working Group analysis looked at payments made in the first tranche, from Aug. 19 through Oct. 31, totaling about $6 billion. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced earlier this month the USDA would proceed with a second tranche of aid payments this year, beginning before Thanksgiving.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    The quality seems to have dropped significantly since I came here, I guess you get what you pay for.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Yes, that is the new tactic from all the trolls.
    They just assert lies over and over no matter how often they are exposed.
    I am Zippy and I approve of this post. But you don't have to.



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    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKCN1VY0ZT

    Trump trade-war aid sows frustration in farm country

    ROCHESTER, Minn. (Reuters) - The U.S. government is paying Texas cotton farmer J. Walt Hagood $145 an acre for losses related to U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade policies. But Minnesota soybean farmer Betsy Jensen will get just $35 an acre.

    Both farmers’ sales have taken heavy blows in Trump’s trade war with China. Neither understands why the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is giving Hagood so much more than Jensen - who grows the nation’s most valuable agriculture export crop, of which China had been the biggest buyer.

    “I’m grateful,” Hagood, 64, said of the aid. “But honestly, I’m not sure anyone really understands how this is working right now.”

    Certainly not Jensen: “It makes no sense,” she said, noting that soybean farmers in other counties have also been paid much more than her.

    At Trump’s direction, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has rolled out $28 billion in trade aid for farmers over the past two years - $12 billion last year and another $16 billion announced this July and being disbursed now.

    The widely varying payouts in the second round have confused and irritated farmers nationwide, according to Reuters interviews with more than three dozen growers. Farmers also complained of software problems and poor training of local USDA employees, who have struggled to process applications and payments, farmers and government workers said.

    The USDA acknowledged “glitches” in the application process in a statement to Reuters and said it was working to speed approvals and payments.

    The differing compensation rates result from changes in the USDA’s complex farm-aid formula as the White House struggles to appease farmers - a key voting bloc for Trump - who have seen their incomes fall in the trade war. Farmers have been among the hardest hit by retaliatory Chinese tariffs. Shipments of soybeans to China, for instance, dropped to a 16-year low in 2018.

    In the first $12 billion of trade aid, farmers were paid by crop, based on estimated lost sales to China: $1.65 per bushel for soybeans; one penny for corn, which was not widely sold to China in 2017; and 6 cents per pound of cotton. The paltry payouts for corn, cotton and other crops infuriated farmers growing them, who argued the USDA paid soybean farmers at their expense.

    Payments to corn and cotton farmers are expected to surge under the second round of aid. Estimated payouts to corn growers, when averaged across all U.S. counties, are 14 times higher than in the first round of aid, according to a USDA explanation of its methodology. Cotton producers’ payments quadrupled.
    More at link.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    The quality seems to have dropped significantly since I came here, I guess you get what you pay for.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Yes, that is the new tactic from all the trolls.
    They just assert lies over and over no matter how often they are exposed.
    I am Zippy and I approve of this post. But you don't have to.



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