Economist: New federal aid to farmers may be paid more fairly

The Associated Press - July 27, 2019 8:07 am

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – An agricultural economist says that the federal government’s decision to base new handouts to farmers hit by the trade war with China on how many acres they’ve planted might be a fairer way to distribute the cash than the previous per bushel payments.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Thursday that it will pay another $16 billion in aid to farmers affected by the president’s trade war with China. It comes after an $11 billion bailout that the federal government gave farmers last year.
The new aid shifts from paying farmers a per-bushel rate for affected crops to paying them by how many acres they’ve planted and their location.
Scott Irwin, a University of Illinois agricultural economist says that the previous program, which was heavily weighted toward payments to soybean growers and based on bushels, “didn’t make any sense.”

 

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