On Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released details of its aid package to help offset the impact of tariffs, which includes a Market Facilitation Program that will make payments to producers of soybeans and six other farm commodities for the 2018 crop. The program also includes an increase of USDA purchases of various impacted U.S. agricultural products, and a Trade Promotion Program to develop foreign markets for American agricultural exports.
The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) welcomes the support from the Administration and details of the how that support will be distributed. OSA also reiterates the need for a long-term solution that protects soybean farmers and opens export markets.
“We’re pleased to see the details of the aid package released in a timely manner so there can be some certainty for farmers moving into the harvest season,” said Allen Armstrong, OSA president and Clark Co. soybean farmer. “However, this is a short-term fix and we continue to advocate for free and open markets with our national affiliate, the American Soybean Association, and for a resolution to the trade dispute with our biggest international customer.”
USDA’s Farm Service Agency will administer the Market Facilitation Program for payments. Farmers can apply for support beginning on Sept. 4. Applications will be available online at www.farmers.gov/mfp.
The value of the 2018 soybean crop has been under increasing pressure ever since tariffs were imposed in early July, with prices dropping approximately $2 per bushel nationally. In the last two months, USDA has raised its estimate for soybean production in 2018 to a record 4.6 billion bushels, reduced its estimate for soybean exports in the 2018-19 marketing year by 230 million bushels, and projected an 82 percent increase in soybean carryover stocks to 785 million from 430 million bushels by September 2019.
In 2017, Ohio was the sixth largest producer of soybeans in the U.S. with 4.8 million acres planted and 263 million bushels. The value of the Ohio soybean crop is currently $2.5 billion and over 60 percent of Ohio soybeans go to international markets.