Farmers prefer Trump do trade deals than hand them cash

Farmer Tim Novotny, of Wahoo, shreds male corn plants in a field of seed corn, in Wahoo, Neb., Tuesday, July 24, 2018. The Trump administration announced it will provide $12 billion in emergency relief to ease the pain of American farmers slammed by President Donald Trump's escalating trade disputes with China and other countries. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a $12 billion three-part plan that would borrow money from the U.S. Treasury to pay producers of soybeans, sorghum, corn, wheat, cotton, dairy, and hogs.

Posted: Jul 25, 2018 10:06 AM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Many farmers remain critical of President Donald Trump's tariffs and the damage done to commodity prices and markets but were appreciative Tuesday that he offered to provide some cash to help offset their losses.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a $12 billion three-part plan that would borrow money from the U.S. Treasury to pay producers of soybeans, sorghum, corn, wheat, cotton, dairy, and hogs.

The USDA also will buy the surplus of commodities that would otherwise have been exported and distribute them to food banks and other nutrition programs. That will cover fruits, nuts, rice, legumes, beef, pork and milk.

The third prong of the plan is to help farm groups develop new export markets.

"This is a short-term solution to allow President Trump time to work on long-term trade deals to benefit agriculture and the entire U.S. economy," said Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

The money comes from the Commodity Credit Corporation, a USDA agency founded in 1933. It has authority to borrow up to $30 billion from the Treasury at any one time to "stabilize, support, and protect farm income and prices."

Farmers said they would rather have Trump settle the trade disputes with China, Mexico, Canada and the European Union and get free trade flowing again.

"A Band-Aid doesn't cure an illness, but it might make it temporarily better," said Dave Struthers who grows corn, soybeans and hay on a 1,100-acre Iowa farm near Collins, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Des Moines. He also sells about 6,000 pigs a year.

Reaction from trade partners to Trump's tariff policies have pushed soybean prices about 18 percent lower and corn and pork prices down 15 percent from the time Trump began discussing tariffs this spring.

China is the largest buyer of U.S. soybeans and one of the largest importers of U.S. pork.

U.S. farmers are expected to grow 14.2 billion bushels of corn this year and 4.3 billion bushels of soybeans, down some from last year but still huge crops. There were 73.5 million pigs on farms as of June 1, the highest number on that date since records began in 1964.

"Experience has shown that trade wars and all this tit-for-tat is devastating to the (agriculture) economy and drives prices down," said Richard Schlosser, who grows soybeans, corn and wheat in Edgeley, in southwest North Dakota. He called the Trump's tariffs "government interference at its worst."

Schlosser said he had been "transitioning" his farm to his son, but the future doesn't look good for young farmers now, he said.

"My son has a good job outside of farming," Schlosser said. "I told him he better keep that job."

The temporary aid is more of an admission by the president of the "huge impact" the trade war is having on farmers, said Mark Watne, president of the North Dakota Farmers Union, which has more than 45,000 members in the state.

"I can't argue they are trying to help us but how long will this last?" said Watne. "Are they truly going to get us a solution that will make things better?"

Watne prefers better crop subsidies and other revenue loss protections in the massive federal farm bill that is being hammered out in a House-Senate conference committee, to guard against retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agriculture exports.

Some farmers were more skeptical of the administration's actions, believing the midterm elections in November had more to do with the announcement than concern for farmers.

"This is an election ploy. And we as farmers are playing the dupes again in this whole process," said Wisconsin farmer Michael Slattery who grows soybeans, corn, wheat and alfalfa with his wife on 300 acres in Maribel, Wisconsin.

Slattery said he didn't support Trump in the last presidential election.

Some farmers expressed concern that few details have been released. The USDA said it planned to roll out some of those details around Labor Day and the program would begin to make payouts after the fall harvest.

"I don't want free money. I don't want bailouts. I want trade. Trade is what works," said Wanda Patsche, who grows corn and soybeans and raises pigs near Welcome in southern Minnesota with her husband, Chuck.

Mark Jackson, who farms with his son and his brother on 2,000 acres in southeast Iowa near Oskaloosa was supportive of Trump's efforts to realign global trade to an improved balance for the United States. He said he agrees with the broader goal of balancing trade especially with China.

"There is a tendency for a little bit of Trump piling on," he said. "We're trying to sort through a lot of the chaff to get down to the real heart of the issue to make this thing a little more equitable."

____

Associated Press reporters Blake Nicholson and James MacPherson in Bismarck, North Dakota; Doug Glass in Minneapolis; Roxana Hegeman in Richita, Kansas; and Carrie Antlfinger in Milwaukee contributed to this report.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 39589

Reported Deaths: 1523
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin12703789
Ramsey5013230
Dakota247993
Stearns242919
Anoka2293110
Nobles16726
Olmsted116817
Washington116340
Mower9652
Rice8598
Scott7834
Clay59538
Kandiyohi5821
Blue Earth5102
Wright4925
Carver4171
Todd4022
Lyon3272
Sherburne3275
Freeborn2980
Watonwan2400
Steele2391
Benton2213
St. Louis19816
Nicollet17612
Martin1715
Cottonwood1370
Goodhue1328
Winona13115
Le Sueur1101
Pine1100
Crow Wing10912
Chisago1021
Otter Tail1001
McLeod940
Dodge920
Carlton880
Unassigned8738
Polk842
Chippewa791
Isanti760
Waseca710
Douglas660
Murray660
Itasca6512
Pipestone632
Meeker611
Morrison611
Faribault600
Becker570
Jackson550
Sibley552
Pennington520
Brown372
Renville362
Beltrami350
Wabasha350
Mille Lacs342
Rock310
Fillmore300
Yellow Medicine300
Houston280
Swift231
Norman210
Wilkin213
Redwood200
Cass192
Big Stone170
Grant170
Koochiching171
Roseau170
Aitkin150
Kanabec151
Wadena150
Marshall120
Pope120
Lincoln110
Mahnomen101
Clearwater90
Hubbard80
Lake60
Stevens60
Traverse60
Lac qui Parle40
Red Lake40
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32533

Reported Deaths: 735
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6827181
Woodbury326444
Black Hawk235558
Buena Vista172411
Johnson13638
Linn132382
Dallas129829
Marshall106319
Scott88310
Story8194
Dubuque77122
Pottawattamie75812
Wapello71231
Crawford6793
Muscatine67544
Sioux4880
Tama47329
Wright3881
Louisa36313
Jasper32917
Plymouth3275
Warren2971
Dickinson2823
Webster2524
Washington2479
Cerro Gordo2011
Hamilton1921
Boone1571
Clay1421
Allamakee1354
Clarke1343
Mahaska11817
Shelby1170
Clinton1151
Poweshiek1078
Carroll1041
Pocahontas1011
Bremer987
Franklin980
Des Moines942
Emmet910
Henry883
Cedar851
Hardin830
Taylor810
Cherokee791
Monona770
Floyd742
Marion740
Benton691
Guthrie694
Jones650
Osceola640
Sac640
Jefferson620
Iowa611
Buchanan601
Butler602
Humboldt571
Calhoun552
Hancock541
Harrison540
Lee542
Delaware531
Fayette520
Monroe517
Madison492
Lyon470
Clayton463
Mills430
Winneshiek430
Davis421
Palo Alto420
Mitchell410
Grundy400
Howard370
Jackson370
Kossuth370
Union360
Lucas314
Winnebago300
Chickasaw290
Greene290
Cass240
Ida230
Appanoose213
Van Buren210
Keokuk201
Page200
Unassigned200
Worth200
Adair170
Audubon161
Ringgold150
Decatur120
Montgomery102
Wayne100
Adams80
Fremont80
Rochester
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 66°
Mason City
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 65°
Albert Lea
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 68°
Austin
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 68°
Charles City
Broken Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 66°
Storm chance die down as cooler temps move in
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Advice for safely starting school in the fall

Image

Racial Disparities Regarding Food Security

Image

George Floyd's Family Visits Rochester Mural

Image

Sean's 6pm Weather 7/9

Image

Differences between Covid-19 and other illness

Image

Virtual Thursdays Downtown

Image

Tutors needed in Rochester

Image

Discussing evictions with US Sen. Tina Smith

Image

Mask mandate at Mason City city buildings

Image

Preventing Glasses From Fogging Up

Community Events