Corn Growers Request Changes in Trade Relief Package

Cindy Zimmerman

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is urging Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to consider changes to the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) ahead of the second round of payments.

In a letter to Perdue, NCGA president Lynn Chrisp said that many farmers are “disappointed in USDA’s approach to calculating the first round of MFP payments because it was too narrow in scope and did not capture the real-time impacts of trade disruptions on our markets.”

Producers of oybeans, sorghum, corn, wheat, cotton, dairy, and hogs impacted by retaliatory tariffs, resulting in the loss of traditional export markets are the commodities eligible for payments, with soybeans getting the majority of the compensation package in the first round.

NCGA is asking Perdue to add ethanol and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) to the calculation of damages for corn. Using USDA’s methodology, gross trade damages for ethanol and DDGS amounts to $254 million, which was not accounted for in the first MFP payments. Chrisp also asked the Secretary to allow farmers who suffer production losses from disasters to use an alternative to 2018 production for their MFP calculation. This would ensure farmers suffering from drought, hurricane-related losses or other natural disasters would not be penalized twice.

Corn, distillers grains, Ethanol, Exports, NCGA, Soybean