Oct. 30, 2018

Agri-Pulse reports:

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.

While administration officials continue to count a renegotiation of NAFTA and the U.S.-South Korea FTA as trade wins, American farmers and ranchers continue to be battered by Chinese, Mexican, Canadian, European, Turkish and Indian tariffs.

Much of those tariffs are retaliation for the U.S. import taxes on steel and aluminum. China is also levying a separate 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans, wheat, sorghum and corn that is in response to the U.S. punishing it for intellectual property theft.

Because tariffs have not declined, the rates of payment in the trade program have not been lowered, a government official said.