Trump Tariff Payments Top $6.4 Billion as Deadline Nears


By Chuck Abbott, Successful Farming - 2/5/2019


 The USDA has received nearly 805,000 applications and paid out $6.41 billion so far in the Trump tariff payments created to buffer the impact of the Sino-U.S. trade war, said the USDA on Monday. The Trump payments are the largest element of a mitigation package that was announced as a maximum of $12 billion but could turn out smaller in the end.


Already, the payments are a bolster for U.S. farm income. They were the primary reason the USDA modestly raised its forecast of 2018 net farm income, a measure of wealth that includes revenue as well as commodities held in storage, last November. Direct federal payments to farmers and ranchers, at $13.6 billion, would be their largest since 2006, before the commodity boom sent wheat, corn and soybean prices soaring and reduced the need for the farm safety net.


An additional $1.23 billion could be paid on applications still being processed, said the USDA, which would put the payment total at $7.64 billion. Deadline to apply for payments is February 14.


The USDA has said up to $9.6 billion is available to producers of almonds, cotton, corn, dairy, pork, soybeans...


...  If payments to farmers and ranchers reach the $9.6 billion maximum, the mitigation package could total $11 billion. If the cash payments to producers are $8 billion, the package could total $9.4 billion.


So far, Illinois and Iowa, who lead the nation in soybean production, are the top states for payments and soybeans are the leading commodity...