Author Topic: 11,000 Texas farmers sign up for tariff relief  (Read 141 times)

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11,000 Texas farmers sign up for tariff relief
« on: February 19, 2019, 07:42:44 AM »
WacoTrib By MIKE COPELAND 2/17/2019

At least 11,000 Texas farmers believe they have suffered because of tariffs and trade disputes erupting amid President Donald Trump’s get-tough stance with China, which buys about half the cotton grown statewide, according to the Waco-based Texas Farm Bureau and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Thursday, Valentine’s Day, was the deadline for agricultural producers to sign up for the USDA’s Market Facilitation Program, launched in September to help producers “suffering from damages due to unjustified trade retaliation,” according to a USDA press release.

USDA spokeswoman Brenda Carlson said in an email response to questions that the USDA-Farm Production and Conservation Business Center in Texas had processed about 11,000 applications through Thursday. Farmers and ranchers statewide had received direct assistance totaling $72 million, Carlson said.

But applications received during the 35-day government shutdown, when applications were accepted in-person but not online, may remain in the processing stage, she said.

Nationally, 864,000 producers had applied for assistance between the start of the program and two days before the Thursday deadline, receiving an estimated $8 billion in payments, according to a USDA press release.

“Farmers are very resilient, and these payments are helping agricultural producers meet some of the costs of disrupted markets in 2018,” USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey said in the press release sent before the deadline. “We view it as a short-term solution to help America’s farmers, and we encourage impacted producers to apply.”

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