Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Monday confirmed that the USDA intends to go forward with releasing funds in December for the second part of the department’s trade aid package and, so far, the payment rates have not been reduced.
Concern was building that USDA might scale back the second tranche of payments for the program designed to help counteract impacts of foreign retaliatory tariffs, but Perdue told reporters that won’t likely happen.
“Frankly, right now we see no change in the amount …” Perdue said.
The first tranche of the package contained three sections – direct payments, a government purchase program and a trade promotion program. Only the direct payments portion – the Market Facilitation Program – will be repeated in December.
Just like the first tranche, the rates are multiplied by half the production on a farm for the payment:
• Wheat: 14 cents per bushel
• Sorghum: 86 cents per bushel
• Cotton: 6 cents per pound
• Corn: 1 cent per bushel
• Dairy: 12 cents per hundredweight
• Hogs: $8 per head
• Soybeans: $1.65 per bushel
The Market Facilitation Program in the first tranche was estimated to be roughly $4.7 billion in payments. The USDA is still taking into consideration pleas by some farm groups to increase the payment rates, but no decision has been made on that, a source said.
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