Activist Group Releases Tariff Relief Payments to Farmers
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released a partial list of farmer recipients of tariff relief payments through the United States Department of Agriculture’s “Market Facilitation Program.”
EWG is an environmental activist and self-described government watch dog group that has for years published list of government subsidies to farmers and others. The EWG release was current as of Oct. 31 and totals $356 million, a small fraction of the $12 billion in tariff relief and other commodity supporting payments promised to farmers over the next year by the Trump Administration. Farmers who produce soybeans, corn, cotton, sorghum, wheat, hogs, dairy, sweet cherries and shelled almonds are eligible for payments.
About 14,200 dairy farmers appear on the list, representing less than 40% of the number of farmers actually eligible to receive payments. The largest payment of $140,804 went to a dairy farm in Hanford, Calif. The smallest payment of just $2 was sent to a dairy farm in Eleva, WI. The 12¢/cwt payment was made on half of each farm’s highest annual production in 2011, 2012 or 2013.
Most of the tariff relief will go to soybean growers, who have had their prices pummeled by tariffs on exports to China. Dairy farmers are slated to receive $127 million in direct tariff relief, less than a tenth of the market losses expected through the end of the year. USDA has also committed to spend another $84.9 million in dairy food purchases to help bolster milk prices. So the total dairy aid package comes to $212 million.