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Trade Aid Payment of at Least $15 an Acre, Says Perdue

August sign-up planned.

WASHINGTON, D.C.-- Farmers will receive at least $15 an acre when the USDA makes its first Market Facilitation Program payment, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny on Tuesday. Details will be announced before the end of the week, Perdue told reporters.

Sign-up – and payments – probably will begin in early August, the secretary said in outlining this year’s MFP. The USDA expected to make three rounds of payments with the first tranche equal to 50% of a producer’s likely total for the year.

The first payment would be 50% or “a minimum $15 an acre.”

USDA will base final MFP payments on the market conditions at the moment of the payment.

“We will get Market Facilitation details out this week,” said Perdue.

President Trump announced two months ago up to $16 billion was available for trade aid this year. The bulk of it, up to $14.5 billion, would be paid in cash to producers of more than two dozen commodities, from corn and soybeans to hogs and milk.

The USDA awarded $100 million of the trade aid package last week for market development overseas. The USDA also will buy food affected by the Sino-U.S. trade war and donate it to charity and to schools.

During a speech at a Farm Credit fly-in, Perdue called for congressional approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and said he expected negotiations soon with Japan for a bilateral trade agreement that would boost ag exports. “China – who knows?” said Perdue. Senior U.S. officials are likely to go to Beijing for trade talks soon, he said.

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