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Relief Package For U.S. Farmers For Losses From Trade War

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The US government announced a $16-billion package to support agricultural producers who were badly hit by the nation's trade conflict particularly with China.

Announcing details of the relief, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said The Market Facilitation Program (MFP), Food Purchase and Distribution Program (FPDP), and Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) will assist agricultural producers while President Trump works to address long-standing market access barriers.

Each specialty crop will receive a payment based on acres of fruit or nut bearing plants in 2019, and in the case of ginseng, based on harvested acres in 2019

Producers of the following crops are eligible for the support-package: alfalfa hay, barley, canola, corn, crambe, dried beans, dry peas, extra-long staple cotton, flaxseed, lentils, long grain and medium grain rice, millet, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, rapeseed, rye, safflower, sesame seed, small and large chickpeas, sorghum, soybeans, sunflower seed, temperate japonica rice, triticale, upland cotton, and wheat.

Payments will also be made to producers of almonds, cranberries, cultivated ginseng, fresh grapes, fresh sweet cherries, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts.

Dairy producers who were in business as of June 1, 2019, will receive a "per hundred weight" payment on production history, and hog producers will receive a payment based on the number of live hogs owned on a day selected by the producer between April 1 and May 15, 2019.

Acreage of non-specialty crops and cover crops must be planted by August 1, 2019 to be eligible for the aid.

Farmers will be paid at rates ranging from $15 to $150 per acre, depending on the impact of unjustified trade retaliation in that county.

The MFP rule and a Notice of Funding Availability will be published in the Federal Register on July 29. Signup begins at local FSA offices on the same day, and runs through December 6.

Eligible farmers can start receiving the assistance from mid-to-late August. Payments will be made by the Farm Service Agency (FSA).

MFP payments are limited to a combined $250,000 per person or legal entity.

Only applicants having an average adjusted gross income (AGI) for tax years 2014, 2015, and 2016 of less than $900,000 derived from farming and ranching are eligible for payment.

American farmers have been at the receiving end as U.S. exports to China and other nations were affected by retaliatory tariffs and decades of non-tariff trade disruptions.

Soybeans, the most valuable US farm export to China, was the most affected US crop in the trade war.

Soybean shipments to China, which is the world's top buyer of the US product, had plunged to a 16-year low last year.

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